Senjski Rudnik

Coal Mining Museum

Senjski Rudnik Coal Mining Museum – Regional Centre of Industrial Heritage

The Senjski Rudnik Coal Mining Museum is a unique technical museum in the territory of Serbia, which displays the history of mining in Senjski Rudnik and other underground mines. It was founded in 1980 at the initiative of the mine’s administration, where it has remained to this day (Dark Coal Mine ‘Rembas’, Resavica). The rich mining history and the fact that mining is the primary activity in this part of Serbia were the main reasons for its establishment in this particular place.

Senjski Rudnik is the oldest active dark coal mine in Serbia. It began operating in 1853, and all the mined coal served as a material necessary for the functioning of the Gun Foundry in Kragujevac. This had a large impact on the development of industrialisation in Serbia. The narrow gauge railway from Senjski Rudnik to Ćuprija, connecting to the Belgrade–Niš railway line, became operational in 1892 and it was used for transporting coal to its consumers. This increased coal production and accelerated the development of the mine itself.

The settlement developed in parallel with the mine, spreading across the surrounding hills. The houses where miners used to live with their families, having come from different parts of Serbia and abroad, remain standing to this day. Some settlers have continued living there, still working in the mine. They form a diverse community of various cultures gathered in one place.

The Senjski Rudnik pit is still active and the current industrial zone is located near the museum complex. The lifts transporting miners to the pit are run by the world’s only remaining steam machine built for this purpose in 1872 in Graz, Austria. It has been operating in this mine since 1920, when it was transported from the mine in Vrdnik. As the only one of its kinds that is still operational, this machine was declared a cultural good of Serbia in 2005.



About the project ‘Reconstruction and Restoration of the Buildings of Aleksandar’s Adit’

The project of rehabilitation of the settlement and its buildings has been carried out for the past 20 years with utmost dedication with the aim of turning Senjski Rudnik into an eco-museum similar to those across Europe. The European Union invested EUR 1.5 million in the restoration of this cultural and historical site, financing the works and technical assistance, along with additional investments by the Government of Serbia, Municipality of Despotovac and Dark Coal Mine ‘Rembas’. The first stage of this project titled ‘Reconstruction and Restoration of the Buildings of Aleksandar’s Adit’ was approved by the Council of Europe and the European Commission and was officially initiated in 2009. The Ministry of Culture was the project holder, while the European Union financed its realisation. The works on the buildings covered by this project started on 4 June 2012 and lasted until 23 June 2014, which marked the official completion of their restoration. The museum complex was also renovated, including the following: Aleksandar’s adit (old administrative building with the entrance to the pit), Machine workshop with smithery and the building of the Cole Mining Museum. The design team from the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade, in cooperation with the Museum of Science and Technology and the Cole Mining Museum, have also designed a project of the new permanent exhibition, which follows modern museum trends. Today, after the reconstruction and restoration have been completed, the Cole Mining Museum bears the name of the Regional Centre of Industrial Heritage.

                                                                                                                                                      Author: Danijela Trajkovska, curator of the Senjski Rudnik Coal Mining Museum

Panorama – Museum building

Panorama – Engine room