Distance from base: 75 km
The city is known as a gemstone center. Until the 18th century, the area was a source for agate and jasper. A combination of low-cost labor and energy helped the gemstone-working industry flourish. The river Nahe provided free water power for the cutting and polishing machines at the mills. In the early 19thcentury, many people were driven out of the local area by hunger and also went to South America. In 1827, emigrants from Idar-Oberstein discovered the world’s most important agate deposit in Brazil’s state of Rio Grande do Sul. As early as 1834, the first delivery of agate from Rio Grande do Sul had been made to Idar-Oberstein. Using local’s technical knowledge of chemical dyes, the industry grew bigger than ever at the turn of the 20th century. After the Second World War, the region had to redefine itself once more, and it developed into a leading hub in the trade of gemstones from Brazil and Africa. That in turn provided local artists with a large selection of material and the region experienced a “third boom” as a gemstone center. The German Gemstone Museum has an extensive collection of artfully crafted sculptures, engraved treasures, and some 10,000 raw and polished gemstones — the most comprehensive collection of its kind.
In the morning we will visit the copper mine which was the best place in Germany to extract copper until the end of the 18th century.
Today you can learn everything about copper production in medieval times in the mine museum. Take a guided tour through the domes of rock where figurines showcase the life and work in mines and illustrate the working conditions of the miners.
In the afternoon we will drive to The German Gemstone Museum which has an extensive collection of artfully crafted sculptures, engraved treasures, and some 10,000 raw and polished gemstones — the most comprehensive collection of its kind.
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€71 per adult
€63 per child (3-15)
€25 per child (0-2)
admission fees for gemstone museum
admission fees and guided tour at copper mine
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