30 May 2017

Merkers Adventure Mine

Special location draws many visitors

The Merkers Adventure Mine has once again demonstrated its long-standing and vast appeal. Since the “world of the white gold” opened in 1991, it has received very many visitors and today saw the 1.8 millionth arrive at the former potash mine. The presentation, which has been constantly expanded and modernized in recent years, and which is located deep in the salt mineral deposit of the Werra potash district, offers something for everyone and appeals to specialists, school classes and families alike.

The most important task of Merkers Adventure Mine, which has also housed the K+S Group’s visitor and information center since 2003, is to provide guided tours for groups and individuals, comprising mining enthusiasts or regular tourists. A significant part of the tourists are also school classes who use their visit to the mine to gain a better understanding of geography or business and employment studies. Since welcoming its 1 millionth visitor in 2006, the mine attraction situated between Bad Hersfeld and Eisenach has lost none of its appeal. Every year, around 75,000 guests come to the mine and enjoy being transported into the world of miners.

There has been one constant at Merkers Adventure Mine since its inception: the guides who escort visitors from station to station on the 20-kilometer tour consider themselves to be “ambassadors for the potash mine” and not merely “museum guides”. Not only do they explain complex technical matters in an easily comprehensible and entertaining manner, but they also go out of their way to respond to visitors’ inquiries or requests for information and are pleased to answer any questions about state-of-the-art production technology, techniques employed successfully by the company to make mining more environmentally sustainable or the future of potash mining in the Werra district.

Unique underground concert hall

Merkers Adventure Mine has in the meantime gained a reputation as a popular venue for concerts, company seminars and conferences and sporting events. The large bunker, where the inaugural concert featuring the “Salt River Dixie Band” was staged in 1998 and attended by 400 guests, has since played host to a diverse range of musicians across the musical spectrum, with seven to nine performances per year in the largest underground concert hall in the world, each attracting 1,000 visitors on average. Over the years, a host of stars have performed in Merkers, ranging from Chris de Burgh, Karat and Die Prinzen to Wiener Sängerknaben, BAP, Eric Burdon and Max Raabe, to name just a few.

Various sporting events are also staged in Merkers Adventure Mine, including the “Crystal marathon” which has become something of an institution, providing a memorable experience. It also serves as a unique venue for company seminars and conferences, be it large- or small-scale, annually attracting up to 10,000 employees from large and medium-sized companies.

Crystal grotto is a National Geotope

The crystal grotto in the Merkers Adventure Mine is at once the highlight of an excursion into the world of white gold and the lowest level reached on a tour of the 100-year-old former potash mine. At a depth of 800 meters, this is where, some 20 million years ago, the elementary forces of Rhön volcanic activity created a grotto whose ceiling and walls are almost completely covered by salt crystals that have grown to an enormous size and are up to a meter in length. The cavern, approximately 5,000 cubic meters in size, was only discovered during mining work in 1980 and has been accessible to the public since the opening of the Merkers Adventure Mine. The overwhelming impression made on visitors by the glittering, clear and transparent crystals is enhanced by a light and sound installation that brings out the uniqueness of the space to great effect.

In 2006, the crystal grotto was declared a National Geotope by the Academy of Geosciences. Thus it is that this “treasure house of nature” is in very good company: the chalk cliffs on Rügen, the Messel Pit fossil site near Darmstadt and the island of Heligoland.

About K+S

K+S is an international resources company. We have been mining and processing mineral raw materials for more than 125 years. The products we produce from them are used worldwide in agriculture, food and road safety and are important elements in numerous industrial processes. Potash and salt are integral nutrients for the megatrend of a constantly growing and increasingly prosperous global population striving for a higher standard of living. This will result in increasing consumption of mineral resources. We serve the resulting growth in demand from production sites in Europe, North America and South America as well as through a global distribution network. K+S is the world’s largest salt producer and one of the top potash providers worldwide. With more than 14,000 employees, K+S achieved revenues in financial year 2016 of about € 3.5 billion and an EBIT of € 229 million. Learn more about K+S at Learn more about K+S at www.k-plus-s.com.

Ulrich Göbel

Spokesman German Sites/Group Companies

Phone: +49 561 9301 1722
ulrich.goebel@k-plus-s.com

Ulrich Göbel
Spokesman German Sites/Group Companies

Bertha-von-Suttner Str. 7
34131 Kassel
Germany

Phone: +49 561 9301 1722
Fax: +49 561 9301 1666
ulrich.goebel@k-plus-s.com

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