The underground canals of the Rüdersdorf limestone quarries at the time when the Walbrzych Fuchs tunnel was in operation
The Rüdersdorf limestone deposits are located east of Berlin. The favourable transport location of the Rüdersdorf quarries, situated as they were in the middle of the extensive Berlin waterway system with its many rivers, canals and lakes, and the good mining conditions made it possible for limestone to be mined in Rüdersdorf for over 750 years. However, they were not of major importance until the middle of the 18th century when demand for limestone increased rapidly as many buildings went up in the Prussian royal residence cities of Berlin and Potsdam.
After production and transportation had been rationalised in the 1770s through the new organisational and administrative reforms, major innovations were introduced, particularly after the Rüdersdorf quarries had been placed under the management of the Prussian Mining, Iron and Steel Department. At the end of the 18th and in the first half of the 19th century, a new underground system of canals was built for the new transport techniques. The article describes the construction phases and developments of this canal system.