On 14 Sept. 1561 Count Samuel von Waldeck issued an edict on the “Miner freedoms in the valleys of Urf”, which was to give the miners’
settlement its name. Iron ore was initially mined here,
later also copper ore. As an incentive for the heavy and dangerous work underground or in huts and hammer mills, the sovereign granted the miners these extraordinary “freedoms”, including the felling of timber, firewood and coal “free of any tax” for three years, and the Count allowed permanent “shaft and gallery rights” as well as freedom of trade and free lower jurisdiction in courts.
In contrast to the state constitution, the “Free Men” were allowed to elect their own Mayor and Town Council. Pub rights, an open weekly market, bathrooms, mills, breweries, salt crates, and meat factories were among the rights and freedoms “most graciously granted” to the miners.
The first documented iron church bell was cast here by Johann Sonneborn and accompanied the miners through the centuries. Ore mining ceased as early as 1590. Between 1732 and 1744 as well as at the end of the 19th century, some excavations were carried out again, but with little success. The former copper mine can now be visited as an exhibition mine. The local gemstone cutting company still has mining rights. There you will find treasures from all over the world as well as the semi-precious stone Kellerwald agate, the “gemstone of the Kellerwald”
The visitor mine is open from:
April - October
Guided tours on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. / approx. 1 hour each
Holidays and deviations:
April 7, Good Friday closed
April 8, Easter Saturday open
April 9, Easter Sunday closed
April 10, Easter Monday open
May 1st, Labor Day open
May 18, Ascension Day closed
May 29, Whit Monday open
June 8, Corpus Christi open
October 3rd, Day of German Unity open
Group tours or children's birthday parties with a treasure hunt in the mine are also possible outside of the regular tour times for groups of 10 or more people by arrangement.
Winter break from November to March!
There are no guided tours during this time due to bat protection. (also no special tours)
Status: March 2023. Adjustments will be announced here!
The "Altes Bergamt" museum has the following opening times:
March 21st to October 31st:
daily 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m
Kellerwaldstrasse 18, 34537 Bad Wildungen - Bergfreiheit
The development of a new operational plan for the Bergfreiheit copper mine necessitated a revision of the visitor regulations and a current mine floor plan for the visitor section of the mine. Both were created by Eckhard Sander 2018/2019 and can be viewed or downloaded here: