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Tourguide Experiences

Explaining different perspectives of the Erzberg

By SwaggyMelonePublished 2 years ago 3 min read
picture by @swaggusmelonus on instagram


To start this little story off, I wanted to explain what the Erzberg is. Long story short it is an old iron mining area having roots all the way back to the year 712. The location is Eisenerz (which can be translated to ironore) a small town in which the relevance of austrian steel developement began.

How I got into my job:

My work as a tourguide here has shown me many different sides of the mountain. Not only the areas in which visitors are prohibited, but also the history linked to them. Having gotten the chance to be the grandson of a former employee who even worked in the mines, I learned much about the "Iron Giant" from a young age.

That's why I chose to become a tourguide, though I would not have guessed which types of experiences I'd make. Starting off as a rather quiet person I had to quickly change my approach to things, which I can only recommend to all my fellow shy people out there. The questions I was getting during the tours were also quite surprising, some children asking what kind of stone that is (small pebbles they picked off the floor) or even adults who were wondering how much fuel fits into one of our Hauly trucks.

Now to the educational part:

As mentioned before the mining endured here for around 1300 years, therefore there were many methods that changed over the course of time. The first verifiable type of breaking the material off of the solid rockwalls was with simple hammers and picks. 3-4cm was the average depth a single miner achieved in a 12 hour shift with a work climate of around 8°C and an air humidity of circa 98%.

Blastings with explosives such as dynamite started in 1720, yet the process of drilling the individual holes was arduous to say the least. Once pneumatic systems reached us in 1873 everything got a lot easier, however there came negatives with it such as the "black lung" a deadly sickness in which dust collects itself in the airways.

Much later on vehicles like shuttle cars and scrooptrams eased the transport of the heavy materials. Sadly this was close to the end of the underday mine so many of those did not see as much use as they probably could have. On the 31st of August 1986 the mine was ultimately closed with around 47km of shafts running through the entire Erzberg.

Luckily daymining continues on to this day and the masses of material are absolutely astounding. Around 3 million tons of fine iron ore leave the area each year. Our trucks are also well known all over the world, since it's one of, if not the only place that managed to rebuild a 50 ton heavy vehicle into a giant taxi with 62 people fitting inside. The mine itself opened again as a showmine in 1988, giving our visitors a good look at how work was done here up until 30 years ago.

My personal conclusion:

It really gave me a new perspective on the world if I'm being honest. Not because some of the questions were rather strange, but more because a lot of this information was not common knowledge as I had thought. Even the citizens of the town know little to nothing about the operation and that is why I wanted to spread the word a bit.

Likewise I am curious about other geological wonders in this world, if you know of any worth seeing or visiting, let me know. With that I wish all my readers a wonderful day, if you have any questions just ask away and thanks for checking the story out.🍉


About the Creator


Hi my name's Roman🍉

fantasy and scifi lover | cosplayer | photographer | and now writer :D

happy to meet all of you

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (5)

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  • Dawn Salois2 years ago

    This was an interesting article. It was really neat that you were able to work as a tour guide in a place where you had a long family history.

  • Sherlin Tangredi2 years ago

    Go for it!

  • Mcgrotha Brinker2 years ago

    Go for it!

  • Extremely interesting and well written, you are starting to roll in the right direction with your writing. Great work

  • Call Me Les2 years ago

    Well crafted, fun and informative. You made geology rock! 😉🙃

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