The Mining Museum
It was exactly in th 19th century that ore mining here reached its zenith. In 1875 the Vojtěch mine achieved world primacy when it reached a depth of 1000 metres. But the work underground brought also tragedy when, in May 1892, Březové Hory was the scene of the worst mining disaster in the world of that time in which 319 miners died. After that silver mining continued with various degrees of success into the 20th century. In 1948 a new branch of mining began in Příbram district with the discovery of an extremely rich deposit of uranium.
But today mining in this district is a thing of the past. Man´s hard struggle with Nature is governed by economic considerations – whether or not it is profitable. And so the once famous local mining industry is recalled today in Příbram The Mining Museum at Březové Hory, the biggest of its kind in the Czech Republic, situated ůin the grounds of the historical Vojtěch, Anna and Ševčin mines. The unique Ševčin shaft built in the style of the so-called 19th century industrial architecture and rising up on the site of the mediaeval mine, was even nominated for inclusion in the UNESCO list of technical wonders. The museum displays rare documents on the history of the local mining and metallurgical industries, ancient steam-driven winding machines, and other objects relating to the old mining methods, superb mineralogical – geological collections as well as exhibits on mining. folklore connected with the history of the town and region.
The once independent royal mining town of Březové Hory which has been part of Příbram since 1953 has preserved other interesting ancient objects. They include the Marie shaft with a mining exhibition in the underground 532-metre-long Marian gallery, run by the Prokop company, the old mining office, original miners´pub Na Vršíčku and St. Prokop Chapel, built in 1733 on the site of a former belfry. The more splendid building opposite, the parish church from 1889 consecrated to another patron of miners, St. Adalbert, dominates Jan Antonín Alis Square in Březové Hory.
Adress: Hynek Klička Square 293, Příbram VI - Březové Hory
tel. 318 626 307, 318 622 566, 318 626 675, fax 318 622 566
Důl Anna (Anna Mine)
Anna Mine in Příbram–Březové Hory belongs with its historical, technical and architectural point of view to some of the most important historical buildings in the Czech Republic and was established in 1789. In the beginning of the 1930´s it was one of the deepest in Europe. In 1941,the depth of 1464.3m was reached. The last 39th floor was at 1449.3m. Until the 1950s it was the deepest shaft in the Czech Republic.
The main mining building from the middle of the 19th century towers above the shaft in industrial style architecture. It is in the same place as the original one from the end of the 18th century. The single storey building of that time was the entrance for the miners and is near the main mining building. It introduces a typical display of an industrial architecture of romantic character. A machine-room with a steam mining machine made by Breitfeld-Daněk from 1914 and a store of material and technical services are near. It served also as a “cáchovna” (miners entry station) to the Anna Mine. The “Cáchovna” and the machine-room are accessible to the public as a part of the Mining Museum at Březové Hory. You can take the small underground train at the “Cáchovna” and view the historical Prokop´s gallery or you can take a mining lift to Anna´s water gallery in Vojtěch (Adalbert) Mine direction.
The Steam Mining Machine at Anna Mine
One of the most valuable monuments within the Mining Museum in Březové Hory (Birch Hills) is a steam mining machine at Anna Mine. It is located in the machine room whose construction goes back to 1913 and in March 1914 was followed-up with an assembly of a modern machine, at that time the biggest one for direct transport from the 1300m depth. A two-cylinder horizontal compact engine made by the Prague factory of Bretfield-Daněk, later Českomoravské strojírny (Czech-moravian Machinery Plant) Kolben-Daněk had been chosen. Its output had been determined at 750HP(554.35 kW). Within its parameters it is an extraordinarly noted workmanship of Czech engineering which is preserved as a cultural monument. Anna´s mining machine which is also unique because of its aesthetic point of view had been working without any major repairs until the time of closing the ore mining district in Březové Hory in 1978. For the last three years from 1975 it was driven by compressed air. In the 1930s it was the only steam engine in Europe which mined from the depth of 1350m.
Prokop´s Tunnel and Anna´s Water Tunnel
The Prokop´s Tunnel has recenty been one of the greatest attractions of the Mining Museum in Březové hory. That is thanks to the fact that in terms of excursion the visitor can view it underground by a mine car(train) which takes them to the deepest mine of this area – the Prokop Pit (1600m) started in 1832 near the place of the original medieval well pit. The Transport Prokop´s Tunnel was bored before 1857 and then adapted in 1891-1893, 1957 and 1998-1999. As mentioned previously it leads from the Prokop´s Mine towards the courtyard of Anna´s Mine and it served as ore transport to the local preparation plant. It is 217m long and together with the so-called gallery (which rolls up the pit) measures 260m.This historical horizontal mine work is connected by an underground corridor with the “Cáchovna”of the Anna Mine and also with the Anna´s Water Tunnel bored at the end of 18th century through which museum visitors can get to the nearby Vojtěch (Adalbert) Mine.
A well-known dominant of Příbram town -part Březové Hory - is a unique technical monument - Ševčín Mine started in 1813 on a place of a medieval well pit. Originally it was the Emperor Francis I Mine, later Emperor Francis Josef I Mine and after the rise of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918 it took the name Ševčín Mine after the great Ševčín´s ore lode (vein). Maximum depth of the lowest 32nd floor of the Ševčín´s pit was 1092.1m, free depth under this floor is 1128.8m and was reached in 1909. The area of Ševčín Mine is part of the local Mining Museum.
The attraction for expert and non-expert public is a unique 37.5m high main pit building built in 1879 in the style of industrial architecture – type Malakov (combination of burnt bricks and stones) which dominates the well-known wooden turret with a gallery serving as an astronomical observatory. This building has been proposed onto a list of UNESCO monuments. Visitors can see the panorama of the ore district of Březové Hory, former free royal mining town Březové hory and wooded horizon of the Brdy Hills.
In a neighboring machine room, built in 1879-1880 in the same architecture, is found a unique technical monument – two-stage horizontal piston compressor made by Královopolská strojírna Brno in 1928.
Opposite the mining tower and the machine room there is a building for processing ores and sorting plant, later reconstructed for other mine purposes and between the world wars, rebuilt into a Sokol Hall, since 1981 also used by the Museum.
An integral part of the building complex of the Ševčín Mine is a miners entry station (cáchovna) from 1880 with a thematic museum exhibition.
The area of the Mining Museum was completed by a one-floor building (1884-1885)that was originally accomodation for mining officials and engineers. Nowadays beautiful mineralogy-geological collections are displayed in these rooms.
In a southern part of the building complex of Ševčín Mine the former historical mining baths with a lodging house and a soup house dating from 1884 can be found.
In the courtyard of Ševčín Mine, successful partial reconstruction of a narrow railway has been made and an exhibition of historical and modern mining equipment was installed there. A mining horse winch used as vertical transport from 16th to the 19th century is also seen there.
With its extent and numbers of exhibition areas the Mining Museum in Březové Hory is the largest mining museum in the Czech Republic and one of the largest in Europe.
Mining cottage no.105 in Příbram – Březové Hory, which is a part of the sightseeing route of the local Mining Museum, represents a unique building of original mining folk architecture with the foundation from 17th century.After 1843 a former owner Karel Blažek bought an additional piece of field and built a little barn, cow-shed and a cellar. He built in an old fire place,a smoking chamber on one side and a stove on the other with preservationof an original black kitchen where the food was prepared on an open fire.
Originally, the house was all wooden, at the first third of the 19th century a reconstruction with the use of non-burnt bricks called “slippers”was made.Only a part of the right wall next to the main entrance (attic direction) has been preserved till now from the former wooden cottage.The roof is covered in shingles.
In 1976 the cottage was brought from the last owner , family Pilous, and two years later an exhibition showing the lifestyle of a mining family at the turn of the 19th/20th century was established here.
Důl Vojtěch (Vojtěch Mine)
Vojtěch Mine in Příbram – Březové Hory belonged to the main and from the economical point of view, to the greatest mines of the ore district in Březové Hory.
It was originally called New Pit and later was renamed after the patron saint of miners as Saint Vojtěch (Adalbert). The pit was sunk in 1779 in a valley below the knoll Koráb in Březové Hory not far from the site of an original medieval well pit.
In 1875 miners in the Vojtěch Mine reached the world first of 1000m vertical depth with the help of only one winding rope.The mining building was built in 1870 on the place of a former one originated around 1779. It is a monumental industrial mining complex from the second half of the 19th century, which creates the natural dominance of Březové Hory.This romantic building was constucted under the influence of German Late Gothic architecture. Its facades are designed with a combination of raw rubble masonry, so-called „Březohorské“ masonry and brick elements with use of interesting mouldings. The height of the tower from the courtyard is 23.2m. At the Vojtěch Mine the vertical depth of 1248.9m was reached on the 35th floor and together with the so-called free depth, the pit is 1262.9m deep.Sinking was finished in 1935, the mining works were running till 1978.Since 2000 the mine has been accesible to the public as a part of the Mining Museum in Březové Hory.
Steam Mining Machine at Vojtěch Mine
The Mining Museum in Březové Hory can boast two extremely valuable technical monuments of world importance.They are steam mining machines of the Breitfeld-Daněk Company at the Anna Mine from 1914 and at the Vojtěch Mine from 1889.The Vojtěch steam machine was installed into the machine room of this mine in 1888-1889. Its output was 450HP(later adjusted at 500HP).It transported two double-deck cages each with a mass 1900kg. This machine wasperfect in its development line and unique from the aesthetic point of view servig for all the time without any major repairs until 1978 when it became redundant due to closing the ore district.For the last three years of its use (since 1975), the engine was driven by compressed air from a turbo-compressor. Now its qualities of it can be admired by many visitors to the Mining Museum in Březové Hory.