Going into Rammelsberg Mountain

These mines in central Germany were used continuously for more than 1000 years! So what’s it like to go inside the tunnels of Rammelsberg today?

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


Rammelsberg Mines, Goslar, Germany

There’s rattling all around. It’s almost deafening.

Hurtling down a tunnel in a small enclosed train, it’s dark.

Flashes of light come through the narrow open windows as we race past the occasional artificial lights on the tunnel walls.

This is how you descend into the depths of Rammelsberg.

Rammelsberg Mines, Goslar, Germany

Deep underground, it’s cold.

It’s much lighter than in the train – but only because of all the electric globes buzzing around me. If it wasn’t for them, though, you could easily imagine you had gone back in time to centuries ago.

The walls are rough – probably cut by hand and with rudimentary explosions. Old tools and trolleys look slightly rusty and water drips off the beams and cages near the ceiling.

Rammelsberg Mines, Goslar, Germany

This is no illusion. The mountain of Rammelsberg, right in the centre of Germany, has been used for mining for more than 1000 years. Evidence of centuries of industry remains underground here.

At first, it was kings and emperors in the 10th century who extracted silver to create symbols of their wealth. In the early part of the millennium, it was things like lead, zinc and copper that were used to help build an empire.

In more recent times – particularly during the 20th century – the mines were expanded and the metal ore extracted from within Rammelsberg was a critical part of the expansion of Germany and the war efforts.

Rammelsberg Mines, Goslar, Germany

In all, it’s estimated that about 30 million tonnes of ore were mined from Rammelsberg. Thousands and thousands of men spent much of their lives in the tunnels deep beneath the surface, extending the mines, exploding the rocks, and transporting them up to the surface.

Rammelsberg Mines, Goslar, Germany

It all came to an end in 1988 when the mine was closed permanently after more than 1000 years of continuous operation. Rather than fill in the tunnels and demolish the buildings on the surface, it was decided to keep the site and turn it into a museum.

Rammelsberg Mines, Goslar, Germany

It was a good move, considering the importance of what happened here for so many years and the significance in the history of Germany.

Rammelsberg Mines, Goslar, Germany

Visiting the Mines of Rammelsberg

While it may be a ‘museum’ these days, a visit to Rammelsberg feels more like a journey inside a recently abandoned mine – and that’s why it’s such a great experience.

The underground tunnels have been maintained but not renovated or modernised for visitors. It is an authentic look inside centuries of industry.

Rammelsberg Mines, Goslar, Germany

You can only see inside the mines as part of a tour. There are different options to choose and you can combine them to get a full experience.

It might start with the train journey into the heart of the mountain and then gradually you can see the different stages of the work that occurred here.

Rammelsberg Mines, Goslar, Germany

There are more recent tunnels with mechanical equipment and, as you go further, there are older tunnels, clearly rough cut, where wooden systems with pulleys and swings were built to help with the process. The way that large wooden wheels used natural water flow to power operations is really quite ingenious.

Rammelsberg Mines, Goslar, Germany

It’s a fascinating insight and helps you imagine what it must have been like for the workers who spent hours – and often days – down here away from the sunlight and their families.

Although the mines are the highlight of the World Heritage Site, the historic town and the nearby water management system are also included and worth seeing.

It was hard work and sometimes dangerous work but the metals extracted from these rocks around me helped build Germany into the country it is today.

Where is the Rammelsberg Mine?

The Rammelsberg Mine is located at Bergtal 19, 38640, Goslar, Germany.

You can see it on a map here.

How do you get to the Rammelsberg Mine?

To get to the Rammelsberg Mine, catch the train to Goslar and then take the bus numbers 803 or 830 to the site, which takes about 30 minutes.

When is the Rammelsberg Mine open?

The Rammelsberg Mine is open every day between 0900 – 1800.

How much does it cost to visit the Rammelsberg Mine?

There are different ticket options depending on how many tours you want to do:

Museum and one tour: €13/€9.50
Museum and two tours: €17/€13
Museum and three tours: €20/€15

More information

You can find out more information at the Rammelsberg Mine website.


Even though it’s quite a small town, there’s a lot to see in Goslar. It is worth staying overnight to explore properly.


You can get an affordable room near the Old Town at Gästehaus Graul.


For a nice fresh design, I would recommend AKZENT Hotel Villa Saxer, which also has a great location.


And for a bit of luxury, Schiefer Hotel is a four-star property right on the market square.

Time Travel Turtle was supported by DB Bahn, the German National Tourist Board and Youth Hostels in Germany but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.


This site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List!
I'm on a mission to visit as many World Heritage Sites as I can. Only about 800 more to go... eek!

9 thoughts on “Going into Rammelsberg Mountain”

    • Yeah, it’s pretty remarkable, isn’t it. I guess people have needed metal for a long time. We tend to think of mining these days as a huge operation but there were ways to extract the ore hundreds of years ago too – just in a much more rudimentary way.

  1. Thank you for posting this and the article on Zollverein. It’s tough to get a sense of how a place is sometimes, but you’ve done a great summary of the two.

    Quick question for you on Rammelsberg… Some parts of the official website indicate that tours in English must be arranged beforehand, while other parts seem to indicate that one can just show up and a tour will be available at some point during the day. Which was your experience?

    Thanks again.

    • A great question. I would definitely get in contact with them in advance. You can’t be guaranteed to get an English guide for the bits you want to see because there are several different ways to do the tours. If you turned up without a booking, I presume you could still join a German tour and see it all – which is still very interesting (you just wouldn’t get the explanations, obviously).


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