Open Coal Mine

The Czech Republic is rich in mining. Open coal mine excavating companies can be found mainly in the Northern Bohemian plateau called Severoceska panev. Most of Czech brown coal comes from here. With 66 million tons of coal excavated annually, the Czech Republic is the World 14th largest coal supplier. Coal mining in the Czech Republic peaked in the 1980s with almost 90 mil tons of coal excavated annually. With the introduction of the Temelin nuclear power plant in 2002, the need for coal decreased and several mines were closed. However, this has not signalled the end of coal mining in the Czech Republic. Currently, 57% of electricity produced in the country comes from coal-fired power plants as opposed to 33% from nuclear power.  Coal reserves are estimated to last for another 130 years, which makes coal one of the most reliable sources of energy. At least for the time being.

Excursion to Open Coal Mine

Tour Facts

from Prague 120km
Duration ½ – whole day
Min 10 persons
Max 38 persons
Price 2000czk / €80

>> Includes bus, guide, 4WD vehicles in the mine, a mine ingeneer to follow us, and gulash on open fire at the Hasistejn Castle

About an hour and half drive on the bus from Prague, and you will be astonished by the Moon landscape of mined out areas between the cities of Most and Bilina, the latter being our destination for the mine visit. We get on a TATRA truck made into a bus and in the company of a mine engineer, we descend about 300m to the very bottom of the mine. You will see the huge excavators which had to be constructed at the mine, and you will be able to walk around these monster machines biting into the ground with their 12 000 litre spans as if it was a piece of cake. Our guide will explain the complexity of the mining process while we make a stop to stretch our legs and take pictures of the inside of the mine. Our last stop will be a recultivated strip of land, known as the “Ministers viewpoint”.
We stop for lunch at the medevial Hasistejn Castle providing surreal view of the mines from its medevial watch towers. We get the lunch cooked and served in a medevial manner as well.
After the lunch, we follow open coal mine Bilina all the way to Most to witness a social engineering project carried out for the sake of coal. The omnipresent concrete blocks of buildings built at a respectable distance from the mines were to accommodate inhabitants of the Old Royal city of Most and more than 90 villages that were gradually swallowed up by the ever growing mines. We visit the Church of Assumption of Lady Mary, the only memory of the old Royal City of Most, which had to move 861m in order to escape destruction. In 1975, the Church was moved on four parallel rails specially manufactured for this occasion. This display of communist technological advancement kept an army of engineers busy for almost a month, and put Most in the Guinness Book of World Records, Millennium Edition.


Did you know that…

  • • Mining was the best paid profession during communism. However, labour in the Uranium mines was fuelled by political prisoners who often did the toughest menial work for no money.
  • • Most coal is excavated in Europe with Germany being the leading European producer. The world coal super-power is the USA with about 30% of estimated world reserves.
  • • Cheap American coal is big competition for Russian gas, and so despite EU green policies, more coal-driven power-plants are still being built across Europe.