Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hallein Saltmine

We have been on several bad mine tours over the past few years as homeschoolers. One was too crowded to hear or see anything, and the other had a tour guide which was nearly impossible to understand. This salt mine tour we went on in Hallein, Austria did not fit into that category. It was excellent.

Right from the start we had a feeling it would be good when they had us put on protective clothing.

Then we loaded on these trolly cars to start our journey into the mine. After walking a bit inside the mine we took a plunge on a rail slide (photo right). The view is looking down the slide with two people wearing white traveling down it. The slides were steep and fast. The kids loved them. There were also steps next to the slide for those who didn't want to try them out.

Underground, we saw some of the original wooden piping used to extract salt from the mine. Water was pumped into the mine and left for weeks to sit and absorb salt. It was then pumped out and boiled away leaving salt. (We have done this for science.) - cool! Just like the Austrians did 500 years ago.

The salt was stored and sold in large cone shapes.

The mining history in the area dates back to around the 8th century BC when Celtic people mined salt in the region. In fact, two perfectly preserved Celtic miners have been found in the Hallein salt mine.

In more recent history, there have been many small wars fought over salt rights between the Austrians and the Bavarians. A large portion of the mine is located under Germany. To end the wars an agreement on land rights was reached.
Hip Homeschool Hop Button Science Sunday

7 comments:

  1. How fun, we have been in mines before but not a salt mine. Looks fun

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  2. What a fun outing! Love the outfits ;-) I've been done a few gold mines but never a salt mine.

    Thanks for sharing at Happy Family Times!

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  3. What a cool homeschool field trip!! Thanks for sharing.
    Here from the Hop.

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  4. Huh, I didn't know that's the way it worked in salt mines. I'm trying to decide if putting on the costumes would have been half the fun for my kids.......

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  5. Wow,this must have been amazing!!!

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  6. We've been in various Welsh mines-slate, tin and coal but never a salt mine. Sounds fascinating and a trip filled with science, history and geography.

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    1. That sounds interesting. I've never been to a tin or coal mine.

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