There are a lot of old mines in the Harz mountains you can visit – but not many offer to enter them by train. At the mining museum in Lautenthal, Germany (belonging to Langelsheim near Goslar) you can in addition also try to go by boat into the dark. This is possible because the miners established a multiple kilometers long transport system with small boats throughtout the mountains.
If you visit the museum you’ll find out that some parts of the small institution really have come to age. But nonetheless it is interesting to view at those models of mines and follow the rails through the building (don’t miss the small turntable). Afterwards you can walk down into the mine and pull yourself on a boat some meters forward into the mountain.
The railway station itself is few meters away. After getting equipped with a helmet you’re locked into a compartment of the miners train which rumbles through a tiny tunnel portal into the mountain. Down there you’ll not find too much: a blind shaft, a small church and a pneumatic hammer used to exploit the stone.
For adults it is quite interesting to learn more about the life of miners, the conditions of their work and their life-expectancy changing over time. For smaller children it might be a bit boring. And this mine is nothing in comparison to mines like in Wieliczka, Poland, being much much bigger. It is only special because of the ways moving in.
Bergbaumuseum “Lautenthals Glück”
Wildemanner Str. 17