We can already seen from a distance the headframe (also known as winding tower or pit frame) called 'Angel', which is next to the building of the museum facilities and mine. After visiting the small museum, we have to wait for the appointed hour, at which we will go down with a mining lift (in Silesian dialect szola) and start our underground trip. As we have some time, we go to the quite big fenced area belonging to the mine and visit the open-air museum of Steam Engines.
There are mainly locomotives, but other steam-powered devices. They come from the early years of the twentieth century. It is hard to believe that these devices survive until these days in such a good condition. A hoisting machine with a wheel having over 7 meters in diameter is very impressive.
Speaking about the twentieth century, we cannot ignore the exhibit of the non-steam device. It is the water wheel driving a powerful sledgehammer in one of the forge in Strzybnica in the seventeenth century. Well. That’s enough of the fresh air on the surface. We put helmets on our heads and let’s go to szola!
Speaking about szola, I have to quote an old still functioning in Silesia joke.. You need to know that in Silesia we do sharply distinguish between the indigenous residents and those who came to Silesia in search of a better life and income. Native Silesians are called here 'Hanysy', while people from other parts of the country are known as 'Gorole'.
Conversation of two hajery (miners):
- “Have you heard that szola (mining elevator) in gruba (mine) stopped?
- Nie fanzol (do not tell me)! - Were there any people?
- Ni (=no). Only some Gorole '.
Nowadays, these differences are significantly less marked and are funny for both sides.
Thanks to the joke, you did not even notice that we went underground and have 40 meters of rock above our heads!
We go through the corridors which are once narrower, other time wider. It is difficult to imagine that miners had to dig in such a narrow pit on their lap. In contrast, we pass large excavations on a large surface area. Despite the fact we sometimes walk a little bit bent, not once not twice we hit against the ceiling with our helmets, appreciating the benefit of having them on their heads.
We watch the tools of miners from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Different types of housings that protect the pavement from collapsing. We pass the pit shafts 'Viper' and 'God bless you'. The name of the latter, refers to the longtime miner greeting. This greeting survived even the past regime. The name 'Viper' derives from the snake-shaped shaft, which had that form for geological reasons.
After more than 1700 meters of walking, we reach the starting point, and everybody making no distinction, both Hanysy and Gorole, we go to the surface. You can hear the whisper of conversation, sharing impressions.
Miners after szychta (=shift), go to the baths. We are not so grimy, so at the end of the walking tour, after a meal in the mining restaurant, we are going to ... Tarnogórski Aqua Park. This is one of the most modern facilities of this kind.
Water slides, wild river, sea wave, jacuzzi etc. Moreover, there are sport hall, sauna, gym, climbing wall, tennis court, squash court. What? We all deserve a good and carefree entertainment.
However, water is making us tired and weak in the long run. I suggest going home. I say 'home', because on Mariacka Street you can feel at home. I can see your sleepy eyes. Shhh! Good night.
All months, except June, July, August: 9 am - 3 pm, every day
In June: 9 am - 3 pm (Monday to Friday) 9 am - 5 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
In July and August: 10 am - 4 pm (Monday to Friday) 9 am - 5 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Historic Silver Mine is closed on: January 1, the first day of Easter, the Feast of Corpus Christi, 1 November, December 24 -26, December 31.
The Mine is accessible for disabled visitors.
It is recommended to appoint the visit on - Telephone number: 32 285 29 81
The prices depend on the number of people.
|Number of people||Adults||Discounts|
|4 - 6||35.-||30.-|
|13 - 18||29.-||23,50|
|More than 19||27.-||21.-|
Maciej Mastalski, the tourism enthusiast and lecturer at University of the Third Age in Tychy.
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Hostel Mariacka 13,
street Mariacka 13/4a, 40-001 Katowice, Silesia, Poland
Accommodation, rooms, apartment rent in Katowice center.