Jump directly to the page contents

Descend into the depths of the earth as the miners once did. In our exhibition, you can experience the extraction, transportation and refinement of raw materials.

Exhibition closed

The second half of the museum is currently being renovated, which is why this area has been closed since July 2022. The modernisation of the exhibition is scheduled to be completed in 2028, the 125th anniversary of the museum's founding.

What is mining?

The discovery of the production of metal from ore in around 4000 BC acted as the catalyst for systematic ore mining in prehistoric times, for example in the Near East, but also in Europe and other regions. It was not only ore that was mined, but also rock salt. In the ancient world, mining became very important economically and politically.

The first written sources about mining in Germany come from around 970 AD. Central European metal ore mining experienced a heyday in the Middle Ages, followed by a period of stagnation in the 13th and 14th centuries, which can partly be attributed to technical difficulties such as the drainage of the mines. It was only in the 15th and 16th centuries that the miners created the technology for mining at greater depths. In the following centuries, metal ore mining became less significant, whilst bituminous coal mining (coal as a source of energy) and later also salt mining (raw materials for the chemical industry) became increasingly important.

In the 19th century, the mechanisation of the mining industry began to develop rapidly and this continued in the 20th century through the increasing automation of excavation and transportation.

The Mining exhibition at the Deutsches Museum is a circular route with a length of approximately 500m. Around three quarters of this is set up as a show mine that conveys a realistic mine atmosphere. The mining technology on the spot, from the 16th century to the present day, provides an impressive illustration of the conditions underground. The show mine extends over three levels (floors), which are connected to one another by stairs and steep slopes.

Mining – exhibition themes

Pit bank.

Shaft construction and transportation

Journey into the depths of the earth.

Shaft construction
Ore extraction with a hammer and pick.

Historic ore mining

Grappling with rocks and water.

Historic ore mining

Surface mining

The mining industry of the past and the future?

Surface mining
Wieliczka rock salt mine

Salt mining

Wet and dry.

Salt mining
Mining exhibition. Pitch coal mining in a semi-steep seam. Man working underground.

Pitch coal mining

A Bavarian specialty.

Pitch coal mining
Coal mine, around 1950.

Bituminious coal of the 1950s

Machines make the work easier.

Bituminious coal
Model of an ore processing system.


Crushing, screening, refining.

Drum shearer from 1981.

Modern mining

On the way to automation. (currently closed)

Modern mining

Brief tour of the mine

Guided tour through the Mine exhibition with curator Andreas Gundelwein. This film is currently only available in German.

Shedding light on darkness – Mine lamps

Gruben-Lampe für Öl, Froschlampe

From: -

Date: Ende 18. Jh. - erstes Viertel 20. Jh.

Acetylen-Grubenlampe mit Reflektor

From: -

Date: 1908 - 1912

Karbid-Lampe, rein Messing

From: -

Date: 1908 - 1935


From: -

Date: ca. 1954

Grubenlampe, 2-teilig

From: -

Date: 1968

elektrische Lampe Type R

From: -

Date: 1917 - 1918

Wolf 'sche Sicherheitslampe

From: -

Date: 1884 - 1905

Any questions?

Do you have organizational questions?

You might also be interested in

View inside the Geodesy exhibition


Cities, countries and rivers ... lakes and seas, mountains and valleys: learn all about the fascinating instruments and techniques used to measure the earth in order to create the most accurate maps possible.

Power Machinery exhibition.

Power Machinery

Step into what feels like an old machine hall, with spinning water wheels and steam engines – many of which look like works of art and can still be set in motion today!

Bessemer Converter


Journey through the history of metal processing and see a historic blast furnace and Bessemer converter up-close. In the Demonstration Foundry, you can observe modern production processes taking place right before your eyes.

Early mechanical workshop.

Machine Tools

Journey through time – from the earliest days of machine tools to a state-of-the-art computer-controlled production plant.