Our most popular guided tour in the Cobalt Mines, the Historical Mine Tour, is packed with history and fun, and is best for children and adults 10 years and over. Our big, new addition in 2018 is a 32-metre-long suspension bridge inside the mountain!
In 2007, we opened the Clara Gallery for guided tours. Since then we have developed this part of the Cobalt Works several more times, and the Historical Mine Tour is now a fascinating experience.
In 2018, the tour of the Clara Gallery will finally be a circular tour. This is the year the Glück Auf Strosse suspension bridge will finally be finished. At 35 metres long, it is suspended right in the centre of the vein of ore, which is lit up to ensure that you can experience the authentic cultural monuments that were not previously visible to visitors.
This entire tour is along walkways, which means that it is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. If you want to do the tour, but would prefer not to go onto the glass floor or suspension bridge, that is not a problem.
The guided tour starts in the Mining Yard, in the heart of the mining landscape. Our guide then accompanies the group down to the entrance to the Cobalt Mines, where mine explorers are issued with the compulsory helmet and fleece cape. Inside the mountain, the temperature is around 4 degrees Centigrade.
The first part of the Clara Gallery is a straight 200 metre long transport tunnel into the underground cobalt ore. As you proceed, you will be given an introduction to the techniques which were used to create the many mine galleries and extract the cobalt-rich ore, and the chemical process which turned ore into finished cobalt blue pigment.
You will pass shafts that give you a sense of the scale of the Cobalt Mines. In Shaft 10 South, it is almost 25 metres up to the roof, while in the Kormann Shaft, you have to look 40 metres below you to see the bottom.
When you have gone 400 metres into the Cobalt Mines and are 50 metres below the surface, you will come to one of our newest attractions, which is now ready for people to walk on. The underground glass floor in the Edvard Shaft is the first of its kind in the Nordic region. When we cleaned out the shaft, we came across an original timber walkway 20 metres down, left over from the mining operations in the 19th century. What would be the best way to display this to visitors? The idea of a glass floor came from Director Tone S. Steinsvik herself, and after a collaborative effort by several local businesses, you can now walk right out over the shaft.
“This was an impressive glass floor! I have never seen anything like it” – Monica Mæland, Minister of Trade and Industry, May 2017.
Some feel their stomach drop when they see the timber walkway 20 metres below them. But there is no need to feel unsafe. The structure has been professionally built and rigorously tested, and is capable of holding a weight of eight tonnes. The glass floor is the only one of its kind, and is an exciting and spectacular part of this guided mine tour.
Mine cheese is a delicacy which is matured in a specially adapted tunnel inside the Cobalt Mines. It has been developed by Eiker Gårdsysteri cheesemakers, and this mine tour takes us past their tunnel. You can also buy Mine Cheese to take home with you in the Miners’ Inn.
Tickets are sold in the Miners’ Inn in the Mining Yard, and you can book them in advance.