Kongsberg the silver town
Many different stories are told about the first
discovery of silver at Kongsberg. In the years
that followed the towns foundation in 1624,
more and more silver was found and eventually
the silver mines were started. Around 1750,
miners had excavated a mine 500 metres deep,
possibly one of the deepest in the world.
Mining activities reached a peak in 1770, with 80 mines and excavations in operation and a workforce of 4,000 men. The silver mines then ran into difficulties and, in 1805, an order came from Copenhagen to close the mines. Mining had been the main livelihood of the town, and 1,760 men lost their jobs. To mitigate this misfortune, a weapons factory, Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk, was established. At Sølvgruvene, the old silver mines in Saggrenda, visitors can board a mine train several times a day during the summer months for a guided tour of the mine workings 342 metres below ground.
Kongsberg is home to Norsk Bergverksmuseum (the Norwegian Mining Museum), which incorporates the Silver Mines Collection and runs guided tours of the 5-kmlong Underberg Adit in the summer months (all year round for groups). The museums guides tell visitors about life in the mines. In the same building, you will find Den Kongelige Mynts Museum (the Royal Mint Museum), Kongsberg Våpenfabrikks Museum (the weapons factory museum) and Kongsberg Skimuseum, which is dedicated to the achievements of local ski jumpers in international competitions.
Lågdalsmuseet is a cultural history museum for Kongsberg, Sandsvær, Numedal and Øvre Eiker. The museum is situated in beautiful surroundings, only five minutes walk from the town centre. At Labro you will find Vassdragsmuseet, a museum focusing on watercourses, and the Buskerud branch of Norsk Vegmuseum (the Norwegian Road Museum). You should take the time to explore Kongsberg church, which is the bestpreserved Baroque church in Norway and one of the countrys most beautiful churches, with seating capacity for 2,000 people.
Kongsberg Turistservice AS Schwabesgate 2 (near railway station) 3611 Kongsberg, Norway Tel.: +47 32 29 90 50 - Fax: +47 32 29 90 51 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.visitkongsberg.no