History of Barbara Stollen
Welcome to the Barbara-Heilstollen, named after saint Barbara, patron saint of miners. Before it was transformed into a medical facility, this gallery used to be part of an old lead and zinc mine. According to documents, mining began here in Dellach in the year 1731. In the beginning, the workers were focused on finding iron - limonite to be precise, but later on, the focus shifted to galena, a mineral similar to lead.
The mining began on the upper part of this ridge, which locals call ‘the Kolm’. As time went by, the workers dug deeper and deeper into the mountain and eventually reached this level. Here, they found the water of the spring now called “Margarethaquelle” and a lot of waste rock which did not contain valuable minerals. This additional gallery served to transport water and rocks out of the mines.
In 1876 the mining was stopped because too much zinc and too little lead was found in the material blasted out. Later attempts to resume the mining in the years between 1900 and 1927 all failed and in 1957, the mining was discontinued once and for all.
It was said that the gallery contained a spring whose water had the power to heal even the most persistent wounds, so 2004 it was decided to begin the excavation of this old gallery and to test the medical properties of the water. The quality of the spring and the air in the gallery were tested and the results confirmed that medically speaking, this gallery qualifies as a Heilstollen – which means that it has healing properties.
The official recognition of these medical properties took place in 2007 through the responsible ministry of the government of Carinthia In this Heilstollen, there are two natural properties which exercise a healing effect:
1) the quality of the air
2) the quality of the water (the medical healing properties of the water)
After these results became known, the development of the project began. While the gallery essentially remained the same in its layout, additional features were added to ensure the security and comfort of our guests. For 770 000 €, the walls were secured through shotcrete and steel bars and the floor was lowered by half a meter to accommodate all essential supply circuits. (electricity, water, air …)