Energy production –

using water to keep the mines working

Ever-deeper ore mines and complex smelting processes consumed more and more energy from water and wood. It was not only deforestation and reforestation that affected the natural landscape.

For a long time, the highest-yielding mines and the deepest shafts in the world could be found in the Harz. To supply them with energy, an ingenious and innovative system of ditches, ponds, water wheels and pumping stations was created: the Upper Harz Water Management System. It was once the largest pre-industrial energy supply system and became UNESCO World Heritage in the year 2010. Right up to 1980 the Upper Harz Water Management System produced electrical energy for the remaining mines of the company PREUSSAG, the Rammelsberg Mine in Goslar and the Hilfe Gottes Mine in Bad Grund.

Many of the installations in the Upper Harz and at the Rammelsberg still carry water today. They document a regenerative energy supply system developed over eight centuries – from the Middle Ages to the present. In no other mining area of the world have such complex water management constructions, storage and distribution systems been created over such a long period of time and maintained for the future.

The short video above introduces the theme "Energy production" in some illustrative scenes.

These energy production systems in the Upper Harz can still be understood and appreciated today on a guided tour passing by ponds, ditches and water tunnels. 

© Harzwasserwerke GmbH

© Stefan Sobotta

Kehrrad zur Energieerzeugung

© Stefan Sobotta

© Stefan Sobotta

© Hansjörg Hoerseljau

© Oberharzer Bergwerksmuseum

© Hansjörg Hoerseljau


World Heritage in the Harz

World culture up close

In the former mine at the Rammelsberg you will get unique insights into the long history of mining. In the historic installations both above and below ground you will find out about 1000 years of uninterrupted ore mining.

On the Move

Hiking, cycling, motorized tours or guided visits – there are many ways to explore the UNESCO World Heritage in the Harz.

On our website you will find numerous suggestions for your tour of discovery – be inspired by the cultural diversity and the breathtaking landscapes of this unique mining region…


An overview of what the World Heritage has to offer

This information brochure will take you on your first journey of discovery through the UNESCO World Heritage in the Harz. Have fun browsing.