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Galleries dug with chisels
The Tellure Mining Park in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines is built over a network of mining galleries, most of which date back to the 16th century. Discovered in 1549 by a miner, the Saint-Jean vein was the source of the “silver fever” that swept through the region. Thousands of miners arrived to exploit the silver veins. At the time, the mining conditions were harsh. The miners fractured the rock (gneiss) with a “pointerolle” (a steel chisel) and a hammer. The galleries dug with this technique are still easy to spot as they bear the “scratches” left by these tools. Tallow lamps illuminate the miners.
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