The Silver Mines

Join a train ride that takes you 342 meters below the surface and 2,3 km into the mountain. Inside the King’s mine there is a guided tour through stopes, adits and shafts. A fascinating device is the famous “Fahrkunst”, – a mine elevator built in 1881. The tour takes 1,5 hours. The temperature is 6°C, so please dress warm! Children under 3 years of age are not permitted inside the mine. The banquet hall was made in 1943 as a Storage room for the National Archives of Norway and 2,000 shelf meters of documents. 10 – 12 people had their daily work inside the mine from July 1943 to June 1945. Today the room is used for events, concerts, shows and company gettogethers.

ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN Situated close to the entrance to the silver mines are the activity grounds where children can learn and take part in the tasks of a traditional miner. Fire setting, an old mining technique, is demonstrated. You can make your own coin in the same technique as was used in Kongsberg 300 years ago. With a hammer and chisel you can “excavate” minerals that are yours to keep. You can also “wash” out silver. The area around the mines has a lot to offer, including a popular spot for bathing, a café and a museum shop in “Sakkerhusene”. Bring your own picnic basket and enjoy your lunch in beautiful surroundings.

SAKKERHUSKROA Sakkerhuskroa is situated close to the entrance of the Silver mines. Sakkerhusene was traditionally the shelters used by the miners during the week. These magnificent buildings were built by architect Georg Andreas Bull between the period 1867 and 1874. Today, Sakkerhusene are used for meetings, conferences and dinners. In Sakkerhuskroa you can enjoy dinner, lunch, cakes, juice, soda, coffee and tea, inside or outside in the garden. Sakkerhuskroa is open daily from 18 May to 30 August, and during weekends in September. Contact Roys Selskapsmat tlf. 92 20 09 68 or email: kontoret@roys.no

CULTURAL LANDSCAPE The woods west of Kongsberg, towards Knutefjell, is called “Gruveåsen” (the mining area). Inside and above the mountain, at the legendary mining fields “Overberget” and “Underberget” (Upper and Lower mountain) one can still see many visible signs of the historical past. On top of the mountain miners searched for silver, broke loose the rocks and brought it for further refinement. The mining areas are today a special cultural landscape with many preserved memories of a historic mining tradition. The cultural heritage is primarily from the 18th century, but there are traces of mining through the entire period from 1623 to 1958. Hiking and cycling in these areas will give you an impression of both culture and nature. Central to the mining area is the well-preserved buildings of “Haus Sachsen” mine from the 1860s. The silver deposit was found in 1629 and has its name from the Principality Saxony in Germany where many of the miners in Kongsberg originally came from. Here you can see the mining captain’s house, cottages, stables and a foundation for a waterwheel. The buildings in this area are worth a look, and Haus Sachsen is an excellent starting point for hikes. The miners used large mechanical installations in their hunt for silver in the mines. You can still see the large system of aqueducts, dams, Foundations for waterwheels, opencasts to the mines and inscriptions in the mountain making the mining area an exciting and protected cultural landscape. Local maps and guide books about the cultural landscape can be bought in the museum shop.

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