Nittmann's Mine II

GPS: 49°49'21.180"N 17°42'56.819"E – map


The Nittmann's Mine has three levels, and the mine is located in the centre of the village Zálužné. It is the largest mine on the nature trail. The mine is located in a fairly steep hillside of the Moraberg hill above the Moravice river. With its depth of 80 m, the mine has three interconnected levels. The lowest one lies just above the river level. The mine is made up of a complex system of tunnels and chambers, which are largely filled with rock fill. This is because the miners were able to separate waste already during mining in the underground. They did not export this material up on the surface. Instead, they used it for filling chambers and lining tunnels and raises. This waste thus replaced timber support known from other mines and also raised the floor level for further access to slate. At the same time, it gives the slate underground its unique and distinctive look. The total length of the mine's interior exceeds 3 km. The mine remained in operation until the First World War, when most of the deposit was already depleted. The year 1885 marks a significant milestone in the history of the local mines. In that year, there was a massive breakout of groundwater into all three mines which were in operation at that time. The Nittmann's Mine dealt with the sudden influx of water quite well. The water flowed through the mine and found its way into the Moravice river from the lowest level. All that was damaged was part of the mine's equipment. There is still a small watercourse draining water from the mine into the river. Unfortunately, in the other mines this event had far more serious consequences, including several casualties.





The second, almost vertical 6x6 shaft of the depth of about 60 m leads from the bottom of the inclined slope directly down to the mine's third level. From there, horizontal adits diverge to the sides. The entire system consists of underground chambers as high as 10 meters, which are largely filled with rock fill. This waste slate was also used for lining the walls of access and communication passages. Many bats found their winter home among the numerous cracks and cavities in the slate lining.

The microclimate in different parts of the mine changes quite substantially. It is determined by intensity of air circulation, air flow direction, and temperature changes on the surface throughout the year. On the upper level – connected with the surface with a common shaft – the dynamics of airflow is only minimal, which creates a stable microclimate. During the year, temperatures here range from +5.2 °C to +6.2 °C with the relative humidity about 97 %. The lowest third level is connected with the surface by three shafts. Down here, air flow and temperature changes are rather intense and dramatic, and so the space responds to changes in the surface temperature very quickly. The microclimate and its stability in winter thus determines where various species of bats will spend winter. While the upper thermally stable levels are occupied in winter by bats of the genus Myotis, the lowest level of the mine is dwelt by Barbastella Barbastellus. The Nittmann's Mine is one of the five most important wintering grounds of this very rare species of bats in the Czech Republic. Their wintering colony numbers 300 individuals.

The environment of an abandoned slate mine provides favourable conditions for many peculiar species of animals and also of fungi.


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