Cool temperatures, a gloomy cave and gigantic cliff formations carry visitors to the slate mine away to another world.
For more than 450 years, many Wittgenstein natives found work and earned a living in what was once a bustling branch of industry, slate mining. The oldest slate mining licence ever received dates from 1717 and was issued by Count Casimir of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.
The valuable natural stone was mined in Raumland. The dark blue slate was an important building material. Characterised by its dark colour and durability, the stone from Raumland was used for roof and wall slates, windowsills and steps. The slate was not only sold within Germany but was also evidently exported to England, France and Hungary too. The heyday of the roof slate industry began in 1860 when the roofs were no longer allowed to be covered with straw. Due to the increased demand for roof slates, twelve slate mines opened in and around Raumland, where some 450 miners earned their daily bread.
Anyone who would like to breathe in some mine air can still go down into the “Delle” pit. In the tunnel, the temperature is a cool seven degrees Celsius. Wander through the cool, dark shafts of the slate mine and learn a little about the formation, mining and processing of slate.