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Geo Excursions in the Spessart

Millions of years, ores, mines, precious stones and rare earths in the Spessart? Yes, you can experience that.

With mineralogist and geologist Joachim Lorenz from Dettingen, you can immerse yourself in a world in the Spessart that you would otherwise only tread underfoot, on which your car drives and on which your house stands, and from which all the metals, fuels, stones and earths that we use in our daily dealings come. Think of the mobile phone, whose exotic components such as lithium, copper, gold, cobalt or rare earths are extracted from the ground.

Joachim Lorenz (64) had a “bread and butter” job in the printing press industry for more than 46 years, continuously protecting the company as a “safety engineer” and head of a plant fire brigade. In a lifelong, extra-occupational study of geosciences, he explored in particular the Spessart and its surroundings and put the results down in numerous publications.

He also succeeded in presenting these difficult and very complex geological conditions to interested people in such a way that people who otherwise have no contact with them experience an “aha effect”, i.e. geoscience that can be experienced and grasped. Lorenz has been leading and organising excursions in the region since 1992.

Below you will find a selection of the excursions he leads.

Volcanoes & coral reefs at the Klingerhof?!

We take an easy walk of about 450 million years in 1 to 2 hours from the Landhotel Klingerhof to the nearby surroundings and you learn that the hotel stands on former volcanic rocks and that marble was once quarried in its vicinity. You will hold such pieces of rock in your hand for you to grasp and with the help of additional documents you will learn about the formation of the area.

We go through millions of years, are washed over by oceans, the dinosaurs come – and via the ice ages we reach the warm Middle Ages. After many climate changes, we are back in the present day.

This approximately 1 km long hike can be done in any weather. All you need is appropriate clothing.

We go underground – Wilhelmine Pit in Sommerkahl

We travel about 15 km from Klingerhof to Sommerkahl and enter the colourful copper mine of Grube Wilhelmine here. The underground tour lasts about ½ hour, depending on the questions even longer. The mine is famous for the blue, green, yellowish colours of the copper minerals. In addition, you will receive explanations about the geology, mineralogy of the copper ores and information about the smelting technology

The mine building is cool in summer at about 11° C and warm in winter, so you should always have a jacket on. You may also bring your own safety helmet, otherwise it will be provided. The tunnels and passages can be walked through without difficulty, but are not barrier-free.

For the whole tour 3 hours should be planned. From about 20 people, we have to invite additional mine guides, so pre-planning takes about 1 – 2 weeks. Smaller groups can enter the mine at practically any time.

Admission to the mine currently costs €5 for adults and €2.50 for young people, which is charged by the mining association for maintenance and is in addition to my allowance.

Aschaffenburg: The other city tour

We walk from the Hotel Wilder Mann to the Main to the rocks under the sand and gravel of the Main. Then we climb up to the castle and see a wide variety of rocks in the streets and on the buildings of Aschaffenburg’s old town: sandstone, porphyry, marble, gneiss, limestone, spessartite, basalt, granite, diorite, roofing slate, sand, gravel, clay, travertine, larvikite, colour pigments, … but also bricks, ceramics, tiles, concrete, terrazzo …

You will learn the names, the formation, the age and the origin of the stones, but we also talk about the durability and the consequences. Past the master school for stonemasons, we walk to the town hall and across Stiftsplatz to the Hotel Wilder Mann. The path is not barrier-free due to the stairs.

This approximately 1.5 km long hike can be done in any weather. All you need is appropriate clothing. Depending on the number of participants and questions, it takes 1 – 1.5 hours. The walk can be shortened or extended according to wishes.

Arsenic in its most beautiful form:
The rare minerals from the rhyolite of Sailauf

We go to a 290 million year old volcano. Sailauf is south of the equator. It is much warmer than today. In the Ruhr area the trees grow for the coal (about 250 billion tons) and here a volcano erupts.

Tour around the quarries in Hartkoppe and Rehberg (trail length approx. 2 km with approx. 30 m difference in altitude) with explanation of the complex geology of the conditions visible in the quarry using sketches and graphics – from the crystalline basement through the Permian and red sandstone to the last Ice Age. Here arsenic minerals sailaufite and okrushite were found, analysed and described for the first time worldwide! There are also agates as wonders in colour and structure. Manganese produces pink-coloured ores here.

The journey from Klingerhof to Sailauf takes about 15 minutes and the tour about 1.5 hours. It is easy to walk, but sturdy shoes are advised. You only need adapted clothing.

If desired, the tour can be extended by a complementary walk to the nearby Rothen Rain with a medieval duck mining on the copper shale (this currently makes Poland the most important copper producer in Europe: 400,000 tonnes). There is then about 1 km more to walk, so you can add about 1 hour.

Curious now?

Of course, you can also combine the offers. In case you want to spend more time, special arrangements with further destinations – depending on your interests and the time of year – can also be planned and carried out. This also applies to tours by coach. Here you would then receive additional explanations about the landscape during the journey.

For the journey, planning and implementation, I will charge you at least 100 € for the one-hour guided tour, 150 € for the 3-hour guided tours and for half-day or full-day events we will agree on an acceptable price, depending on the location, effort and length. The number of participants is irrelevant, as the expense is independent of how many people will be present. In the case of a fixed booking, half of the agreed amount is to be paid in advance, which will not be refunded in the event of a cancellation on your part.

Pretty mineral samples as a souvenir can be provided. As a matter of principle, you go on the excursions at your own risk and do not make any claims against me in the event of an accident. You are subject to the obligation to cooperate and I will give you advice on safety at the beginning; if these are observed, the risk can be equated to a general life risk.

If the weather is unexpectedly bad with heavy rain – which happens very rarely – we can change to an indoor event with an illustrated lecture on the topic in one of the hotel rooms. In that case, I will bring stones for you to grasp. Exception: the tour of the Wilhelmine mine is possible in all weathers.

Contact

Joachim Lorenz
Graslitzer Str. 5
63791 Karlstein a. Main (Germany)

+49 6188 6761

jlo@spessartit.de

www.spessartit.de

Download: Geo excursionen in the Spessart

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