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© August Zoebl

The Erzberg

The most important ore deposit in the Alps, state-of-the-art research site & adventurous event mountain

First, Erzberg is an active mining site and currently the most modern open pit mine in Europe. Iron ore has been mined here for more than 1,300 years. Specifically, around 12 million tons of rock are blasted out of the mountain every year. 3 million tons of the finest ore are then delivered each year to the main customer, voestalpine in Linz and Donawitz. 6,000 tons a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Since 2019, the University of Leoben has been operating the "Zentrum am Berg" at Erzberg in Styria, a unique and independent research infrastructure in Europe relating to the construction and operation of underground facilities.


The combination of active ore mining with tourist offers is unique in Europe, because away from mining you can discover the impressive location in the show mine "Adventure Erzberg". In addition, the Erzberg is known as a legendary film set and the scene of spectacular mountain sports adventures!


How was the Erzberg actually formed?

The legend of its origin.

A long time ago, when there was no ore mine in Eisenerz and the people were still farmers and lumberjacks, there lived a water sprite in a rock cave near Lake Leopoldstein. Many scary stories were told about this strange creature, although hardly anyone had seen him during the last centuries.

Eventually, a small number of "seasoned men" bravely thought about how to outwit and catch the water sprite. So one day they went to the Aquarius' cave and deposited wine, cake and a coat smeared with pitch on the inside in front of its entrance. The Aquarius, infatuated by the scents, jumped at the wine and the cake with joy, forgetting all caution. The coat also aroused his curiosity and he tried it on without hesitation.

Of course, the water sprite was not used to drink alcohol, so he soon fell asleep drunk and with a full belly. Now the men mustered all their courage and rushed at the water sprite with a net. He had no chance to escape. The water sprite begged for his release and when everything was of no use, he began to negotiate with the men.

If you give me back my freedom, it shall not be your harm! Choose for yourselves: I offer you gold for ten years, silver for a hundred years, or iron forever.

The men did have to think very long and they chose the iron. The water sprite raised his hand and pointed to today's ore mountain and promised that iron could be found in this mountain.

He kept his promise. The Erzberg brought prosperity to the people and became the "Styrian loaf of bread" beyond the borders of Eisenerz.


© August Zoebl

"Abenteuer Erzberg" show mine

The incredible silhouette above ground, the exciting adventure tour during the day as well as a ride in the largest 860 horsepower cab in the world should belong to your bucket list. There are many reason why the Erzberg is one of the TOP 5 excursion destinations in Styria.

Find more information about the "Abenteuer Erzberg" Mine here:

Opening hours:

May to October - Advance booking requested


T: +43 (0) 3848 3200

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Europe's most modern tunnel research & training center "Zentrum am Berg"

Research institutions, companies and organizations can now conduct research work under real conditions, as well as exercise missions for operators and users of road and rail infrastructures and tests on aerodynamic issues and safety in underground mining and operations and on material developments. The underground facility consists of two parallel road tunnels and two parallel rail tunnels as well as a test tunnel, enabling research, development, education and training under real underground conditions on a 1:1 scale.


Montanuniversität Leoben

Department Zentrum am Berg

Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont. Robert Galler

Chair for Subsurface Engineering


T: +43 3842 402 3400


© Foto Freisinger


© August Zoebl

Adventurous event mountain and the largest outdoor sports arena worldwide

The Erzberg Adventure Days -  Austria's only mountain running sports festival with 5,000 participants from 27 nations and around 10,000 visitors.

The Erzberg Rodeo - The toughest off-road motorcycle race in the world, with tens of thousands of visitors on site and millions of TV viewers worldwide.

The 4x4 Erzbergrodeo -  Popular vacation fair and one of the largest long-distance travel meetings in Europe, with around 1,000 touring and off-road vehicles.

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