Gemstone Factory Tours in Idar-Oberstein

Categories: Family and Kids, Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Cut Agate
Cut Agate

[ source: Flickr]

Idar-Oberstein is well-known for its gemstone mining culture; originally the mining of gemstones, bringing agates, rock crystals, amethysts and many other splendid stones to the Earths surface, was extremely influential for the culture and economy of Idar-Oberstein. Bringing gemstones to the daylight, was an important formative influence on the city. For 150 years cutting these stones and trading jewelery and gemstones has become the most important field in gemstone manufacturing and contributed to the city's world-wide reputation. There is not only an original preserved factory but the mines and mills that offer a lovely tour for people to experience what shaped Idar-Oberstein (Idar-Oberstein vacation rentals | Idar-Oberstein travel guide) in becoming a unique experience for anyone who visits.

First off is the Industriedenkmal Jakob Bengel (Bengel vacation rentals | Bengel travel guide) (Factory Museum)

This is the only original factory that has been preserved. The factory represents over 130 years history of jewelery manufacturing in Idar-Oberstein. In former times over 100 people worked in the factory in production of necklaces, jewelery and accessories. Today, guided tours of the factory museum provide visitors insights into the manufacturing methods that had been used in these times. The antique machines are still working today and demonstrations show you the creativity of the gemstone and jewelery trade. Starting from design, engraving and tools that had been the prerequisites for a successful manufacturing. Since 2003, the antique machines are back in service for manufacturing Art Déco jewellery according to old designs (from the year 1920 - 1930), antique manufacturing methods and with original tools. The Art Déco jewelery is manufactured in a limited edition for special customers. The museum is open from Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Closed on holidays.

Gemstone Mines Steinkaulenberg

The only European gemstone mines which are open for visitors, the gemstone mines of Steinkaulenberg in Idar-Oberstein, welcome you for a journey through the fascinating realm of sparkling and precious stones. The existence of these mines is in fact the reason for the foundation of the Idar-Oberstein gemstone manufacturing in this spot. With commercial mining having come to a standstill in 1870, the mine has been completely dedicated to hobby mineralogists and gemstone lovers from all over the world. Besides the visitors’ gallery there is also a mining gallery. Here treasure hunters and collectors are free to experience the adventure of mining agates, amethysts, jasper and other quartzes, supervised by experts. For visits to the mining gallery it is only necessary to register in advance. The numerous tunnels and galleries are situated right in the middle of a nature reserve. The walk from the car park to the mines along a newly installed geological experience trail provides ten minutes of interesting information. The way to the mines as well as the mines themselves have been adapted to the needs of handicapped people. The gemstone mines are open daily in the period between 15th March and 15th November, from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m.

Historical Gemstone Mill Weiherschleife

The next station on the gemstone journey will take you to the place where gemstones are worked on. At the historical cutting mill Weiherschleife from 1634, the last water-driven cutting mill on the Idarbach creek, experienced cutters will demonstrate you the methods applied in earlier centuries. The major part of their exhausting job was done while lying belly-down on so-called tilting cutting chairs. Situated in a beautiful scenery, the park around the cutting mill with the idyllic Kallwiesweiher-pond and a pleasant restaurant invites you to stay and relax. The Weiherschleife cutting mill is open daily in the period between 15th March and 15th November, from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m.. Also between 15th February and 14th March as well as between 16th November and 15th December Mondays to Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Gemstone Adventure World (Edelstein-Erlebniswelt)

The Edelstein Erlebniswelt (Gemstone Adventure World) is a unique attraction. Here you will have a chance to explore the mysterious world of precious stones. An extraordinary exhibit will fascinate you and take you on a journey through the beautiful world of gemstones, crystals and minerals. Light and color will captivate your senses. Caves and grottos invite you to explore every corner. Haze and pools contribute to the mystic atmosphere of the fairyland. Get inspired by this fascinating attraction and explore the intriguing secrets of precious stones and minerals. The Gemstone Adventure World is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.

[ source: com/cities/idar-oberstein-travel-guide ]

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