Mining and Regional History

Route 3

29 March

Mining and Regional History



Departure at Aalen, Gmünder Tor - Platz


Tiefer Stollen – visitor mine Aalen

Trip into the former mine, guided tour underground


Brenztopf in Königsbronn

Visiting the bowl-shaped blue karst spring


Katzenstein Castle

Guided tour, lunch


Egau waterworks in Dischingen

Visiting the waterworks and taking a look at the Buchbrunnen spring



Arrival at Aalen City

Tiefer Stollen - Visitor Mine

In the area around Aalen iron ore has been mined since medieval times until the middle of the last century. Two iron seams had been mined, which formed as sedimentary marine ore deposits during the Middle Jurassic period. The mine “Tiefer Stollen” was built from 1841 - 1843 as “Erzbergwerk Wilhelm I” named for the king of Württemberg at that time. It operated until 1923. The visitor mine’s function today is to show people this economic sector that has had massive influence on the prosperity and culture of the region. The mine offers a critical look at the environmental impact of mining, but also shows the fears and concerns of the public regarding mining activities. 

Brenztopf in Königsbronn

The big karst spring Brenztopf literally translates to “Brenz pot”. Like the Blautopf its name refers to the bowl shape of the spring. It is source to the river Brenz, which flows into the Danube. With spring discharges from 230 L/s up to 20,000 L/s it is one of the strongest springs in Germany. The water appears to be blue and has a temperature of 7 C. It is located at a rock face in Königsbronn near the town hall, which was built in the 18th century in Rococo style.




Katzenstein Castle

The Katzenstein castle dates back to the 12th century. It is one of the oldest castles in south Germany. Building styles and building materials of the various sections of the castle bear witness to an eventful history and diverse geology. The castle is mainly constructed from light- and dark-coloured limestones and built in Romanesque style. The frames of the windows and doors of the medieval part of Katzenstein are made of a somewhat porous stone, which is distinctly different in both structure and appearance from the limestones. This is the suevite, the “Swabian stone”, which is a partly melted rock linked with the Ries meteorite impact crater nearby.





Egau Waterworks in Dischingen

The “Buchbrunnen” spring is one of the biggest springs in Baden-Württemberg that is used for drinking water. Cavern crustaceans that dwell in the spring mark the high quality of the water. The waterworks in Dischingen provide drinking water for 400.000 people in a 775-km-long network and its features include technology for fast water softening. Visitors of the waterworks will get an overview of the state’s water supply and also get the chance to drink from the spring.