Mother and two children and a driver in the open green mine train of the salt mine in Berchtesgaden

Salzbergwerk Berchtesgaden

A fascinating journey underground

A boat trip inside a mountain with a laser show on a lake? Can that be possible? Yes it is – at Salzbergwerk Berchtesgaden (Berchtesgaden salt mine). You’ll also learn many fascinating details about salt mining on a guided tour of this salt mine which is over 500 years old.

What is the underground boat trip all about? It takes place at the lowest level of the tour, on the impressive Spiegelsee (mirror lake) which lies exactly 130 metres below sea level. Its name communicates what makes it so special: the “sky” of the gigantic mining cavern is reflected on the surface of the salt lake, creating an incredible illusion. A laser show with accompanying music helps to amplify the effect as you cross the lake. You can almost see the salt crystals growing.

The Spiegelsee is just one of the many highlights awaiting guests as they make their way through the mountain. An example that particularly fascinates visitors is the two wooden slides; it’s simply impossible to imagine that miners actually used these slides to move people and materials in times past. And though they used to be sites associated with hard labour, the slides now bring joy to young and old alike. The first slide is right at the beginning of the tour, while the second leads down to the Spiegelsee.

The 29-kilometre brine pipeline from Berchtesgaden to Bad Reichenhall, built in 1816 by Georg von Reichenbach at the behest of King Max I, was a true feat of engineering which included an ingenious pump system to overcome gradients along the route. One of these 14-tonne bronze pumps can be viewed in the salt mine, while others can be found at the Alte Saline (old salt works) in Bad Reichenhall and at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. You can also follow the course of the old brine pipeline on the beautiful foot trail that runs from Berchtesgaden to Ramsau.

We recommend purchasing a ticket online before your visit to the salt mine so you can be sure of a place on the tour.

www.salzbergwerk.de

 

 

Text: München Tourismus; Photos: Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG

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