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18 The Rabenbrunn tunnel


Stud Name:             "Rabenbrunn - Stollen" as locality name

Struck:            1692                

Length:                         1,116 m          

Altitude:                    800 meters


Since the old Steinberg tunnel was rich in salt, especially towards the depths, the Rabenbrunn tunnel was dug in 1692 under Emperor Leopold I in order to use it.

The Rabenbrunn Stollen - main shaft was initially in gravel mountains, then a long stretch in solid limestone. The initial direction of advance was to the south-east, to undercut the old Steinberg tunnel. After 320 Stabel (381.4m) of tunneling, the direction of tunneling was to go under the New Steinberg -  Tunnel pivoted to the east. After the construction of the connecting line with the same, the main shaft of the Rabenbrunn tunnel was swung back to the south-east to undercut the old Steinberg tunnel.

In 1725, when the Rabenbrunn tunnel had already been extended to 913 Stabel (1088.3m), the first traces of salt were found. Initially, there was the hope of going under the rich dams built in the Old Steinberg tunnel. Therefore, several search routes were excavated, but without encountering rich salt agents. The salt was found everywhere only in such short resources that hardly a single pumping station could be built. In 1737 all hopes of finding salt mountains with the Rabenbrunn tunnel were finally abandoned.

A mistake uncovered by the Starhemberg Commission in 1707 was the hasty opening of the Rabenbrunn tunnel to undercut the Old Steinberg tunnel, before a test dig from the Old Steinberg tunnel made sure that the Haselgebirge really was there. How right Starhemberg was proved later. For 20 years one had then continued to build and the Rabenbrunn - tunnel lengthened a total of 936 rods (1115.7m) without leaving the limestone; only at the beginning was the Haselgebirge, but only 21 Stabel (25.0m) in length.


Because of these poor prospects and other, more important tunnel drives, further tunneling of the Rabenbrunn tunnel was stopped entirely in 1739. Only the main shaft, together with the small mountain house and the mountain forge that were built there, were still maintained.  

When the test drives carried out in the Old Steinberg tunnel to further uncover the salt mountains in 1751 on the Eysel bend and other places did not have any favorable success, the Old Steinberg tunnel and the Rabenbrunn tunnel were soon completely abandoned.


Sources used:

Carl Schraml "The Upper Austrian salt works from the beginning of the 16th to the middle of the 18th century", Vienna 1932

Carl Schraml "The Upper Austrian Salt Works from 1750 to the time after the French Wars", Vienna 1934

Johann Steiner "The traveling companion through Upper Austrian Switzerland", Linz 1820, reprint Gmunden 1981

Michael Kefer "Description of the main maps of the kk Salzberg zu Ischl", 1820, transcription by Thomas Nussbaumer, as of September 13, 2016

Anton Dicklberger "Systematic history of the salt pans of Upper Austria", Volume I, Ischl 1807, transcription by Thomas Nussbaumer, as of 06.2018

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