Mines as cultural monuments
The Fuchs mine with the Fuchs tunnel in Walbrzych
The idea of holding a Polish-German symposium in Walbrzych came from the fact that the historical Fuchs tunnel is an important and informative monument which marked the beginning of hard coal mining in Lower Silesia. The extensive Thorez mine is also a facility which was in operation until mining stopped in this region. Therefore, Walbrzych has two monuments which represent the rise and fall of an industry which dominated a whole region and the fate of its people for more than a century.
The article describes the extraordinary role played by the Fuchs tunnel and the Thorez mine in the Lower Silesian, Polish and European coal mining industries. It first compares the Fuchs tunnel with the tunnel structures of the then leading coal and ore mining regions. The comparison of the Thorez mine with other mines in Europe already covered by preservation orders serves to assess the Thorez facilities with a view to their importance for the future and incipient tourism in the region.