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Le musée est : Fermé

The mine gallery

Audioguide EN

This cramped room behind the cellar is the old potato cellar. Potatoes were widely grown in the Val de Villé in the first half of the 18th century.

Today, you can see reminders of the mining industry, which is apparently less important in the Val de Villé than in the neighbouring valley of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, but not negligible. Numerous mines were exploited in the Val de Villé from the Middle Ages until 1928. Depending on the site and the period, silver, copper, antimony, galena, iron and fluorite were extracted. In Albé, coal was mined in the last century.

On the ground, you can see the parts of a pumping machine from the Mathis de La-laye shaft; the documents on the wall show how this double-barrel pump evacuated the water from this 80-metre-deep mine shaft. This mine shaft, which was exploited by the House of Austria in the 16th century, is exceptional in that it is the only one still perfectly preserved in Europe.

The display cases contain small parts of the shaft, such as valves with leather seals, wedges, etc., as well as ceramic and glass objects and stove tiles from the “Champ Brêcheté” miners’ house in Urbeis.

Finally, if you feel like it, you can visit the Théophile mine in Urbeis.

On leaving this gallery, you will find a driving track dating back to the 16th century and documentation on the old miners’ houses in the hinterland.

Through the old stable door, we enter the dwelling.

  • Antimony: a silver-white, brittle metalloid similar to arsenic.
  • galena: the main lead ore