Modern and traditional as well as functional and monumental all at once – the above-ground structures at the Rammelsberg Mine are distinguished by seemingly contradictory architectural elements. The above-ground facilities, erected between 1935 and 1939, exemplify the development of modern industrial structures during Germany’s National Socialist era. The complex, designed by Fritz Schupp and Martin Kremmer, is one of the architects’ most important built works. Their office designed more than 70 industrial facilities and had a lasting influence on industrial architecture in Germany and beyond.
The Rammelsberg mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Harz Mountains south of Goslar, has a history dating back more than three millennia. The above-ground structures by Schupp and Kremmer that dominate the ensemble today were built as part of the National Socialist policy of autarchy, the push to modernise the raw materials industry of the German Reich in preparation for war.
The architects of the facility had already made a name for themselves with their Zollverein coal mine complex in Essen. The structures on the Rammelsberg resolutely unite functionalist elements with the regional building traditions of the Harz Mountains. Built using steel skeleton construction, the buildings’ façades were given natural stone bases and wood cladding. Here, half-timbering meets functionalism.
The architects carved into the mountainside to build the ore processing plant. It forms the heart of the building ensemble, not only from a technical but also from an architectural point of view, as the orientation and design of all the other buildings are subordinate to the monumental processing plant. During a tour of the complex – beginning at the forecourt, then continuing through the wage hall and past the central power plant to reach the ore processing plant – numerous design and construction details reflect the influences of modern, regional and Nazi architectural features.
Ore was actively extracted from the Rammelsberg Mine until 1988. Today, the Mines of Rammelsberg World Heritage Site houses a museum and a visitor mine. [FE/DK]
- UNESCO world heritage site
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Das Weltkulturerbe Rammelsberg wird gefördert durch die Stadt Goslar und das Land Niedersachsen.