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Arthur de Buyer coal mine

Arthur de Buyer coal mine

Record-breaking coal mine in France

The overgrown ruins and collapsed roofs of the French Arthur de Buyer coal mine at no point suggest that a French record was broken here in 1900.

In 1892, the Société des Houillères de Ronchamp started building the mine buildings and deepening the shafts. On November 15, 1900, the depth limit of 1010 meters was reached. Until 1910, this remained the only French mine that exploited coal more than a kilometer below the Earth's surface (photo: Public domain).

Stopped in 1954

Coal mining was stopped in 1954. The shafts were filled and the buildings now served as accommodation for a waste processor. The remaining buildings' skeletons have languished since the end of the last century.

Roofless machine room

The monumental machine room, 49 meters long and 20 meters wide, was equipped with generators to generate electrical power to drive engines and for lighting. Compressors provided the compressed air.

A moving bridge was constructed above the machine room. Today, none of this is recognizable if you place the historical photos of the interior (public domain photo) and exterior (public domain photo) next to a contemporary image.

Collection building

Both metal headframes were razed to the ground in 1958, a few years after the closure of the mine. The winding engine building next to it (on the left in the historic black and white photo, public domain) has seen better days. Today, only the walls remain standing, recognizable by their three round-arched windows.

Factory inspection

Several other buildings have also been preserved; the brick chimneys, as a reminder of better times, still stand proudly.

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