of East Bavaria

Mineral specimens from East Bavarian deposits give you a first impression of the diversity of colour, shape and formation of the local natural resources, which are millions of years old.



Die in der Ausstellung gezeigten Minerale sind zwar charakteristisch für
Although the minerals displayed in the exhibition are characteristic of East Bavarian raw material deposits, these specimens are distinctive due to the size and good quality of the crystals and the paragenesis with other crystals.



Due to modern extraction technology and because most of the mines have been closed, it is no longer possible to recover any more minerals.



The most significant minerals in East Bavaria are displayed in the exhibition room.

Montane history

(closed due to renovation and redesigning)
Upper Palatinate – Iron centre of Europe

Due to the rich and easily extractable iron ore deposits in the Upper Palatinate, mining and iron smelting already began two millennia ago. Montane archaeological findings show ironwork from the Carolingian era, but there are also indications of smelting during the Celtic period.


The economic heyday of mining and smelting in the region lasted from the 14th to the 17th centuries. The Upper Palatinate can rightly be described as the iron centre of Europe in that period.


The organisational basis for the iron trade in the Upper Palatinate was the Great Hammer Union of 1387, an agreement which bore the characteristics of a cartel. The strict regulations of the Hammer Union were also partly responsible for the downfall of the mining sector in the Upper Palatinate, however. The mining industry enjoyed a new boom with the construction of the railways in the mid-19th century.


The iron industry suffered a further decline in the 20th century. In 2002, the “Maxhütte” ironworks were shut down completely.


The miners and smelters were always acknowledged as having a special role in society that was governed by mining regulations and mining rights. Diverse customs developed from their working environment, some of which are still in place today. This is most obvious when you look at their traditional attire. There is also an area of the exhibition that is dedicated to the miners’ culture.

Raw materials

(closed due to renovation and redesigning)

East Bavaria lies at the interface between two old continents and is also traversed by distinctive fault lines. This results in geological diversity, which is reflected in the diversity of mineral raw materials. For many centuries, the most important raw material was iron ore, which was mined until 1987. The metallic raw materials gold, lead, copper and zinc also played a role.


From the beginning of the 20th century to 1981, domestic brown coal paved the way for the economic development of the region as a source of energy, especially for power generation.


The non-metallic raw materials - apart from graphite or cast stone, which were mined here 2000 years ago - only gained great importance in the 20th century. Mention should be made of fluorspar, clay, kaolin, bentonite, but also the mass raw materials sand and gravel.

Made in East Bavaria

Industry in the Upper Palatinate from 1800 to now

The exhibition consists of six chapters that show the industrial development of East Bavaria from the beginning of the 19th century to the present. It focuses on the beginnings of industry in the Upper Palatinate, its heyday, crises and booms, and also includes current developments.

Many companies have provided production samples and valuable items for the exhibition from their family archives and company archives. State-of-the-art media technology and numerous interactive exhibition elements invite you to discover new things and try them out, and give younger visitors to the museum in particular the opportunity to learn about the history of industry interactively and in a playful way.

The redesigning of the permanent exhibition has been generously sponsored by the “Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen in Bayern” (regional department for the non-governmental museums in Bavaria), the “Landesstiftung” (Bavarian foundation) and the “Bezirk Oberpfalz” (district of the Upper Palatinate) as part of the “LEADER” grant programme.

Glas, Steingut und Porzellan

(closed due to renovation and redesigning)

1750 entstanden zunächst in Sulzbach, 1759 in Amberg die ersten Fayence-Manufakturen. 1779 wurden in Passau, 1803 in Regensburg die ersten Porzellanfabriken gegründet, denen die in Tirschenreuth 1838 folgte. Während des 19. Jahrhunderts waren die Steingutmanufakturen in Amberg, Hirschau, Reichenbach und Regensburg vorherrschend, bis sich Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts die Porzellanfabriken vollends durchsetzten.

Die Betriebe sind heute in der nördlichen Oberpfalz konzentriert und bilden mit den oberfränkischen das Zentrum der feinkeramischen Industrie in Deutschland.


Die Anfänge der Glasherstellung wiederum reichen in Ostbayern bis in die keltische Zeit zurück. Von einer nennenswerten Produktion kann jedoch erst ab dem 15. Jahrhundert gesprochen werden. Über Jahrhunderte hin haben sich die Zentren der Glasproduktion im Bayerischen Wald im Raum Zwiesel erhalten, im Oberpfälzer Raum entstand eine solche erst am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts. Auch heute noch nimmt Ostbayern in Deutschland eine Spitzenstellung in der Glasproduktion ein.


Die umfangreiche Sammlung aus Ostbayern und Böhmen zeigt neben Gebrauchsgegenständen und Zierrat aus mehreren Jahrhunderten auch Besonderheiten wie Uranglas.