1.500 years old.
Daugbjerg Kalkgruber is Scandinavians oldest limestone mine, its history going back more than 1.500 years in time
Man started to excavate limestone by the open cast method. It then progressed to underground workings to allow them to mine all the year round.
The limestone was then used to create mortar for the construction buildings etc..
Lime from Daugbjerg travelled far.
Lime from Daugbjerg after being converted into mortar, was taken via The Ox Road. This is the name given to an ancient trackway in Denmark and Schelswig-Holstein. The route runs from Viborg via Flensburg to Hamburg.
The lime was used in the construction of Dannevirke. This was an important linear defensive earthwork across the neck of the Cimbrian peninsula. Initiated by the Danes in the Nordic Iron Age at some point before 500 AD.
Gottorf Castle in the city of Schelswig in Germany was built using mortar from Daugbjerg.
Increase in production.
During the middleages the mine was not that busy. When bricks became fashionable the the 17th century this increased the demand for mortar. The mine then became extremely busy, with the increase of tunnels of more than 700 metres per year. Today you can see the mine and its passages and caverns as it would have been in the 17th century.
Limestone would be mined by the men. Their skills were passed down to their sons.
Women and children would then take the limestone to the surface it would them be transfered to the local kilns. Here the process of converting the limestone to mortar would take place.
Discovery of the mine as we know it today.
Children were playing in the forest after a servere rain storm in 1922, when they discovered a big hole in the ground caused by the rain. This was the entrance to Daugbjerg Kalkgruber as we know it today.
The only thing that has changed is the introduction of electric lights.
In 1951, 9 hectares of land were declared a conversation area. This covered 9 entrances to the mine workings. Only one entrance is open to the public to day.
The passages of the mine are small and winding ( although you can safely walk around these) on several levels. They are semi circular with headroom of approximately 2 metres. Humidity within the mine is a constant 96% and the tempurature is 10 degrees all the year round. You may need your jumper, when going underground!
The whole site including the mine is wheelchair friendly.