Medieval silver mine
Visit of the mine is part of the tour II of the museum in Hrádek. See the details.
Part of the mining-historical exposition of the Czech Museum of Silver is also medieval mine located in the area between the main building of the Museum - Hrádek - and St. Barbara Church.
The mine was discovered in 1967 when a hydro-geological exploration of the center of the town was carried out. In the depth of approximately 22 m an old gallery was discovered. At first the discoverers were convinced it was the famous Osel (Donkey) mine that ranked among the deepest and richest mines of Kutná Hora until the middle of the 16th century and that was localised into this very area by written documents. But the subsequent exploration showed it to be perfectly preserved medieval drainage gallery, dug in a long period of time from the 14th until the beginning of the 16th century. The oldest sections of this gallery forming a complex floor of corridors above the flooded and still unexplored large mine work originally connected individual mining pits of the Osel and Čapčoch ore belts.
The gallery was dug out in the gneiss of Kutná Hora crystallinic rocks tightly by contact with base chalk conglomerates. Quartz and gneiss nuggets of this conglomerate can be seen on many places on the roof. As there are sediments containing calcite in the roof, similar phenomena as in karst caves can be met in the gallery. Medieval miners used to work by hands with two mining hammers – chisel and sledge-hammer. Traces of these hammers can be seen on many places on the walls and the roof of the corridor. Besides, there are copious small niches dug out in the walls into which miners used to put away their pit lamps.
250 m of the gallery are accessible to visitors. In winter, between the seasons, exploration, mapping and hydrological measuring of others publicly inaccessible areas is carried out already for several years.
In 1995, a massive 33 m deep staircase was build up in an existing air shaft so that the underground passage could be opened bidirectionally. At the same time, replicas of medieval smoke floors, inclined shafts, reinforcements etc. were installed in the underground. Visitors walk through the medieval mine in canvas white kirtle, so called perkytle – traditional clothing of miners, with helmet and lamp.