Zabrze, Zabrze County, Silesian Voivodeship, South-Western Poland
In operation since 1855 until 1928. Family friendly mine offering a wide range of tourist attractions.
Nowadays, the mine is still in operation however, not for extraction purposes. Mines make sure this unique place is safe for visitors and provide the best mining experience for them.
By virtue of many institutions, mainly the Zabrze municipal government, the Marshal's Office of the Silesian Voivodeship, and private individuals, in 2007 they prevented the mine from liquidation activities what finally led to the establishment of the Historic "Guido" Mine as an independent cultural institution of the City of Zabrze and the Silesian Voivodeship.
In 19th century the expansion of railway transport influenced the rapid development of Upper Silesian industry. In the area of city of Zabrze many new mines, steel mills and factories were built. As a result of these events, there was a rapid increase in demand for coal. Consequently, in 1855 Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck founded a hard coal mine in Zabrze.
The mine faced many difficulties on the way to its expansion due to its geological location.
Finally, in 1928 works in Guido shaft were cancelled and in 2007 a historical and independent “Guido” mine was founded as a tourist attraction of the Lower Silesia.
The Guido was 80 meters deep when became part of a the company of the Upper Silesian Railway Society which contributed to its development and repair work after difficulties related to tectonic disturbances, effectively hindering extraction. At the same time, work was carried out to drill the "Railway" shaft. Lately, due to new investment of adjacent mine, “The Guido” mine was bought by the State and it was included as the South Field to the state-owned mine “Queen Louise”.
The final depth reached in “the Guido” mine was 320m, railway shaft was 336 meters deep.
There was a legend about the treasurer (the spirit of the Guido mine) between the miners. The treasurer who rewards and punishes. Not everyone believed in the legend and among them was one young miner who sometimes didn’t follow miner rules under the ground. He didn’t greet miners with “Good bless you” and during his work he liked to whistle. One day he saw a line of miners coming through a side tunnel. At the end of the line there was an old foreman who held burning flashlight in his right hand and a golden pickaxe in his left hand. The young man hair stood on end and suddenly he forgot everything. When he awoke there was the end of the shift, and he left the mine with unknown miners. Everything on the surface was different. Instinctively, he headed home, but found strangers there. Terrified, he began to ask questions about his family, and was horrified to find out that his relatives had already passed away, and that their son - Wojtek - had died of a heart attack fifty years earlier. The miner slowly walked away with a heavy heart and the people who were talking to him sympathetically looked after this stooped, grey-haired old man…
Sustainable tourism insights
The mines offer different tourist attraction, four different guided tours on different levels, old chapel tour and underground pub on 320 metres below the surface. There is also a hostel in the old “Guido” mine
The hard coal mine history changes from the industrial production plant to one of the biggest tourist attractions of the miner heritage in the region of Upper Silesia.