Ore Diggers' Trail ("Erzgräberweg")
The smelting of iron ore in the municipality of Schmelz dates back to before the Thirty Years‘ War (1618 - 1648). In 1686, the Marquis Lénoncourt commissioned the construction of ironworks, complete with a smelting furnace in Dillingen and in Bettingen. The latter, as it wasn’t profitable anymore, was shut down in the 1860s and auctioned off in 1869. The region is rich in bog iron ore, limestone, charcoal and it profits from the hydrodynamic power of the Prims, an affluent of the Saar. The „Erzgräberweg“ (ore diggers‘ trail), one of the Saar-Lor-Lux cultural hiking trails, leads to the vestiges of the preindustrial ore smelting era in Schmelz. The trail starts at the “Dreihausen” parking lot on Ambetstraße and leads past the Sollbach creek to the abandoned ore mines, whose sheer size points to the magnitude of the mining activity.