Brikettfabrik Knappenrode


‘Brikettfabrik Knappenrode’ was built as ‘Briquette Werminghoff’ in 1914. It was part of the brown coal open pit mines. It was closed in 1993 and recently turned into a museum.

The factory was managed by Joseph Werminghoff. Production began in October 1918. The facility consists of three plants. When the brown coal pit grew, it was connected to this briquette factory with a conveyor bridge. The work was now always in operation and learned little modernization. During the Second World War, parts of the conveyor bridge were bombed, but this went without damage.

Glückauf Knappenrode

On 17th April 1945, production ceased because the pit flooded, eventually becoming Lake Knappensee in the 1950s. Consequently, they dismantled the factory in 1947, and over the next few years, they rebuilt and renamed it Glückauf Knappenrode. The DDR government renamed the town Werminghoff to Knappenrode. Additionally, new brown coal mines opened in the vicinity of the plant.

Brown Bovery

Within the turbine hall, the factory’s power station, three impressive steam turbines show German engineering art of the 20th century. Firstly the oldest one, a Brown Bovery, which is from imperial times. Secondly, the middle one is an AEG-product from 1943. Lastly, the youngest engine was built in the 1950s. Together they used to produce all the energy Brikettfabrik Knappenrode needed. During the 1960s, they enlarged the plant multiple times by installing new presses. The last shift ended here in 1993, leading to the shutdown of the turbines, driers, and presses. What remained is now a remarkable piece of industrial history.

Today, Brikettfabrik Knappenrode is the heart of the Lausitz Mining Museum. The factory buildings take you back to the Wilhelminian Era. I visited the factory in 2016.

Built 1914
Abandoned 1993
Museum 2010