AIA Spring Tour
14th - 20th May 2018
Click here to register interest
We apologise for the delay in confirming the details for this tour. We are now very busy working on the itinerary and other arrangements and plan to announce full details before the end of January. We have quite a long list of people who have already registered interest and they will be the first to know. Thank you for your patience. 5th January 2018

We are working with Helmuth Albrecht who is Professor of the History of Technology and Industrial Archaeology at the Technical University in Freiberg to develop the itinerary and he will accompany us on the tour.

There are items of IA interest throughout the region and we will be particularly interested in the metal mining region of the Erzgebirge – in English the “ore mountains” which form a natural boundary between Saxony and Bohemia.

No details are yet fixed but we are working from a long list of sites some of which we will be able to fit into the itinerary. We don’t know at the moment which of these will be included but the following should give a flavour of the breadth and diversity of sites.

Near Leipzig we can have a look at what is now known as the Mining Technology Park, formerly a lignite mine which retains some of the vast machinery used in that business. South of there we might drop in on a disused Briquette Factory now reused for leisure purposes.

Near Zwickau we can have a look at the West Saxon Textile Museum and two other historic weaving mills

South of Zwickau we should have a look at the Göltzsch Valley Bridge – an amazing brick viaduct carrying the railway across a valley with four layers of arches built on top of one another to bring it up to a considerable height.

In Oelsnitz we can discover something of coal mining history

In the south west of Saxony we can find out something about the Wismut mining company which produced more than 230,000 tonnes of uranium between 1947 and 1990 and made East Germany the fourth largest producer of uranium ore in the world and was the largest source of Uranium for the Soviet Union at the time.
We plan to arrange a ride on the Fichtelbergbahn railway from Cranzahl to Oberwiesenthal the highest town in Germany.

Near Marienberg we may find time to look at a horse gin used for winding men and materials up and down to a silver mine

At Lengefeld we can visit the Lime Works with a history stretching back to the 16th Century

Near Freiberg we can explore the underground hydro electric installation at Drei Bruder Schacht or Three Brothers Pit

In Dresden I think we need to go for a ride on one of the famous paddle steamers on the Elbe and we should definitely have a look at the two remaining gas holders

At Großröhrsdorf we can see some more of the textile industry

And the tour would not be complete without a look at one of Europe’s best railway museums at Chemnitz So again, that’s just a few of the sites on the list which we will be working on over the coming weeks to create a great trip.

A few practical details:

We plan to organise 5 days of visits from Tuesday to Saturday. You make your own way to Saxony but, as before, I will make reservations for myself on flights from London on the Monday morning and returning on the following Sunday. I will tell you which flights I’m using and arrange for optional coach transfers to the hotel where we are staying and back at the end of the week.

When I researched this I could not find any useful direct flights from the UK to Dresden or Leipzig. Dresden is nearer to Prague than to Berlin and it might be that that’s an easier route in and out. I will be looking into all this and will let you know as soon as possible.

The last two Spring Tours sold out quickly so if you think you would like to come register interest now to get in the queue and be informed as soon as more information is available.

Bill Barksfield  24th August 2017