A group of families from the German-American and International Women’s Club Parents and Children Group recently visited the historic copper mine in Fishbach.
Twenty-three children and 14 adults took a mostly English language tour of this medieval mine and copperworks and learned a bit about life in the middle ages.
Mining was actually one of the better paying jobs, paying four times as much as farming. Miners were also allowed certain privileges, such as the right to wear a beard.
Still, mining was a very difficult life. Men began work in the mines at age 16, and because of the working conditions the men were often blind and nearly crippled by age 30.
Women and children worked in the smelting area where they were exposed to dangerous fumes. Because of this exposure, miners were extremely small in stature.
The group took a look at prospecting tunnel where a full grown man of the middle ages would have stood upright to work.
Interestingly, miners lived relatively long lives, probably due to the better nutrition afforded them by their better wages. Still, the group concurred, it couldn’t have been a pleasant retirement.
The next outing of the Parents and Children Group is May 14 with a trip to the Primeval Museum Geoskop at Lichtenberg Castle. To get on the e-mail distribution list for the group, send an e-mail to Rachel Riegel at RGRiegel@aol.com.
For general club information, visit www.GAIWC.com.
(Courtesy of GAIWC)