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The oldest metal headframe in Europe


The oldest metal headframe in Europe

The iron Ottiliae head frame in Clausthal-Zellerfeld is the oldest remaining example of its type in Europe.

The iron structure was erected in 1876 by the Grube Rosenhof mining company. The headframe lifted ores (silver-containing galena and zinc blende) from the 594-meter-deep corridors.


It was one of the most modern installations in Europe, but in 1930, the exploitation was no longer economically attractive. The shaft was converted into a hydroelectric power station and remained active until 1980. According to, the steel shaft is the second oldest iron headgear in Europe and is well preserved.

From Clausthal station, a 2.2-kilometer-long narrow-gauge railway winds through the woods to the Ottilae headframe.

Together with the Rammelsberg Mine, the Ottiliaeschacht is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The winding tower made a very brief appearance during the 2014 film The Monuments Men.

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