The Erzberg is the only mountain of its kind in the world, and it is one of the top five tourist destinations in Styria. An incredible silhouette above ground, an exciting tour underground, and a ride in the largest 860 PS taxi in the world are really something to be seen and experienced.
Above all, however, the Erzberg is an active mine – currently the most modern open-cast mining operation in Europe – where iron ore has been mined for over 1,300 years. The combination of active ore mining with a tourist attraction is unique in Europe. The Erzberg is also the venue for the most famous Enduro race in the world, the Erzbergrodeo, which has been staged on the Erzberg for more than 20 years.
The geological origins of the Styrian Erzberg mountain are still uncertain. Recent investigations have indicated that circulating water leached out the volcanic base of the mountain. As early as the Palaeozoic era, this hydrothermal circulation, which had very high iron content, forced its way into the sedimentation basin and transformed the lime sludge into iron carbonate as the sediment built up.
The large distorted areas that are visible today on the freshly cut quarry faces were caused by the reactions between siderite, ankerite, and limestone, as the mountains were subsequently formed in two phases.
You travel in the largest and most powerful taxi in the world – the Hauly, a converted 860-PS colossus with a viewing platform. It takes you along the steps of the Erzberg and enables you to watch the other heavy trucks and wheel loaders used in ore mining.
You can watch live blasting from the Hauly every Thursday (except public holidays and during site shutdown), which provides you with an in-depth insight into ore mining. You learn about blasting from a qualified expert and then watch as up to 25,000 tons of ore and rock are blown up. (NB: the number of visitors is strictly limited for live blasting events.)
Visit the underground labyrinth of the Erzberg and find out more about the miners’ workplace, then and now – including the origins of the Erzberg, the legend of Aquarius, and an audio-visual blasting experience.
Daily from 1 May to 31 October, 10:00 – 15:00, prior booking required.
Tel.: +43 (0) 384 832 00