Jan Sverma Mine
The Oldest Black Stone Mine
Black coal used to be exploited around Zacler as early as in 1570. However, the greatest boom came in the 18th and 19th century. The Julie (53 m) and Marie (186 m) shafts were excavated in 1853–1872, both equipped with a steam-powered hoisting machine and Marie also with a pump to remove water. Several shafts were joined in 1950 to make the existing mine called Jan Sverma, which thus become the oldest black coal mine in Bohemia. That’s when the main extraction shaft, “Jan”, began to be mined, with approx. 600 miners extracting 200–250 thousand tons of coal per year.
After the 1989 changes, the mining turned out to be uneconomic, and mining in Zacler was closed down on 31/12/1992 after more than four centuries, leaving underground, besides coal reserves, also over 77 km of drifts and crosscuts in an area of 10 sq.km.
The tour includes the dirty clothes rooms with chains, where the miners’ shift started, and continues via the pithead to the shaft building of Jan pit, where from the area where mine trolleys were put into operation, the 52-m tall Jan shaft tower is accessible. The tower offers a panoramic view of the Krkonose with Mount Snezka and the Vrani Mountains with Spicak, and also of the whole premises of the mine. Visitors then go to the newly accessible Jitrenka drift, some 100 m long, where a good coal seam can be seen. The tour ends in the engine room for Jan pit with the original hoist engine, offering also an exhibition on mine equipment and paleontological finds.
Jan Sverma is now a technical monument and lies on the right-hand side of the road from Zacler to Lampertice.