The Winkler Wetterschacht (Fresh Air Shaft)

In the Middle Ages a shaft (probably a hoisting shaft) named the Winkler Shaft had existed. In the 19th century the Winkler Shaft, alongside five others, was used as an air shaft. At that time it was still timber supported.

From 1903 to 1908 it was given a round cross-section of 3.6 m diameter, masonry walls were constructed and it was sunk to the first base surface (total depth then 188 m). Upon completion of this work the other shafts were abandoned and the Winkler became the main air shaft of the Rammelsberg. To increase the natural air current a mine ventilator was added in 1912.

It had already been equipped with an iron hoist frame and engine house of corrugated sheet iron in 1905. By means of a winch material and goaf from the Kommunion quarry could be suspended. To move the goaf heap from the stone quarry to the Winkler shaft mill a gravity incline was employed which up until its demolition in 1914 was set up over the Kanekuhler shaft and then set up again at the Winkler shaft. The slope where it once ran can still be seen clearly when ascending the quarry. Between 1935 and 1939 the iron hoist frame over the shaft was renovated and the corrugated sheet iron hut replaced by a solid stone building.

In 1966 the plant management discontinued the use of the shaft--after having had the new air shaft northwest of the Maltermeister Tower built--and allowed the Harzer Knappenverein (miners’ society) to use the area. In the following years, in many hours of work, they modernised and refurbished the building.


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