Over 2 hours of diving in beautiful corridors with magnesite
veins still visible, at a depth of 6 m to 40 m.
The “Maria-Concordia“ mine in Sobótka was built in 1920/21 on the initiative of the „Schlesische Magnezitgrube Zobten am Berge“ company („Silesian magnezite mine Zobten am Berge“), which managed it until 1945. The less romantic polish name was „magnesite processing plants“, while the old, pre-war name was just „Maria Concordia“.
In the 1920s, it was the largest industrial plant in the area. On the surface of the mining area, there was a magnesite processing plant (shut down in 1995), with a roasting shaft furnace, a sorting plant and a mill. Magnesite is magnesium carbonate – it is a mineral used in the production of refractory materials and Sorel cement, in the chemical, paper, dyeing and electronic industries, and in the production of metallic magnesium. In Sobótka, magnesite occurrs in the form of thick veins (0.5-4.8 m), thin veins (0.5-0.1 m) and in the form of a mesh (the thickness of the veins was from a few millimeters to 0.1 m). By the end of World War II, 220,000 tons of magnesite was mined in Sobótka.
From around 1942 to January 5 1945, the mine, operating under the code name „Seehund“ („seal“ – see List of German Underground Systems Codes), carried out armaments production in two secret complexes located in its workings. In rooms and underground sidewalks, crankshafts for aircraft, gears and gearbox parts for heavy artillery tractors Sd.Kfz.9 were created.
After a fire in 1947, the plant was rebuilt, as new magnesite deposits were discovered on its premises. The transformers burned down in
another fire in 1953, and the mine ceased operations for several years. The last trolley came to the surface in 1963, and the last buildings were demolished in the 90s.
The mine had 14 shafts (not counting two ventilation shafts). The famous ones include „Elza“, „Ewa“, „Karl-Otto“ and „Marta“. „Maria Concordia“ is a mine with 10 levels. There are 8 levels available from the „Ewa“ shaft, 4 of which are flooded and made available for diving.
The magnesite mine in Sobótka has been known to explorers for a long time. At the turn of 2009/2010, several groups of cave divers tried to explore the flooded part of the mine. Access to the mine was possible through the Elza shaft, located on a private property at Szmaragdowa Street. In 2010, as a result of a poorly planned action, the entrance to the shaft was permanently closed. It was known that there were at least two more shafts leading to the mine – Piotr and Ewa. Several exploration groups were interested in the topic, but either due to a lack of enthusiasm or perhaps detailed knowledge, or both, by 2012 no one had found these alternative inputs.
In autumn of 2012, a group of explorers and divers made an attempt to excavate the Ewa shaft, located under the former lift tower. After digging the garbage pit and forcing the steel plate closing the shaft, it became clear that the mythical Ewa shaft had been found.
At the beginning of 2016, the shaft tower disappeared, and the opening leading to the shaft itself was covered with earth and rubble. It turned out that the commune of Sobótka started cleaning up related to the plans to sell the land on which the entrance to the mine was located. At the turn of 2016/2017, we managed to purchase the land and start a new project, which holds the name of the pre-war magnesite mine – „Maria Concordia“.
Below, we present the historical plans of the Maria Concordia Mine made by the Union of the Mineral Industry in Jelenia Góra. Higher resolution plans can be downloaded below.
Diving in the „Maria Concordia“ Mine in Sobótka.
We go to the diving site through the Ewa shaft. The divers and the equipment are transported down using rope techniques. You do not need to have experience in this field – before going through the shaft to the dive site, each person receives a helmet and harness and undergoes instructions on how to descend and technique. The ride itself is an additional attraction for everyone, especially divers who are our guests for the first time.
Only divers who are certified in cave or mine diving are allowed to dive in the mine. Divers without such certificates can also dive in the mine, as long as they are under the supervision of an instructor during the dive, and the diving is a training dive. The dives are conducted independently by the divers (we do not conduct the dives as guides).
The underwater part of the „Maria Concordia“ Mine offers over 2 hours of diving in beautiful corridors with still visible magnesite veins, at depths from 40 m to 6 m (4 levels: 38m, 26m, 15m and 7m). Divers are allowed to move around only in places available for diving, which are marked with guidelines. During the dive, photography and filming for private and commercial purposes, as well as the use of a scooter, are allowed.
At the moment, we do not have a compressor room, but we help in organizing the filling of cylinders in a friendly diving center in Wrocław (0.5 h from Sobótka).
Diving in the Podgórze Mine in Kowary.
An hour and a half by car to the west from Sobótka is located the town of Kowary with the Podgórze Mine – the second largest uranium mine in Poland. The mine workings were built in the 1950s, and the operation lasted until 1958.
In the years from 1974 to 1989, the Podgórze Mine housed the only one in Poland and the fourth in the world Radon Inhalatorium, in which patients from the Cieplice Health Resort used underground inhalations with noble gas radon.
The diving route covers over 20 km of flooded corridors. Entry to the diving site is available from the level of the dry tourist trail,by using 244 m deep mining shaft. The diving trail is available only to cave divers with appropriate qualifications and experience.
We organize weekend combined dives – e.g. Saturday: diving in the Maria Concordia Mine, Sunday: diving in the Podgórze Mine.
Prices & FAQ
Below we present the price list valid from 01/12/2021 and frequently asked questions about the mine and its activities. Please read them carefully before asking a question.
+48 505 142 500
ul. Turystyczna 7a,
55-050 Sobótka, Polska
GPS: N 50° 54′ 6.602”
E 16° 43′ 59.783”
09:00-17:00 at weekends,
depending on the reservation