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Minerals

Binn is famous for its minerals, and the Binntal is known as the valley of hidden treasures. And rightly so – for the Binntal is indeed very rich in minerals, which are buried in the layers of different stone of which the valley is composed. We invite you to come and discover the Binntal's minerals.

It is because of its minerals that the Binntal began to develop as a tourist attraction. English visitors in particular discovered the valley and its minerals in the second half of the 19th century. The old bridle path through the Twingi Gorge was widened in 1864, and the Ofenhorn Hotel first opened its doors in 1883. In 1900 about 20 families in the Binntal were able to earn extra money from prospecting for minerals, by all accounts more than they could earn from farming, the traditional source of income.

The valley of hidden treasures

When we think of crystals, we usually think of clear rock quartz or mysterious smoky quartz. The Binntal contains these different quartz varieties in all different shapes and forms, along with a whole range of other minerals, many of which may be small in size but are often unusual in their form. To date, over 300 different mineral types have been found in the Binntal, of which around 150 were found in the world-famous mineral Lengenbach Quarry beyond Fäld. The Binntal is the type locality for about fifty minerals – meaning they were first identified in the valley.

Unlike the floral treasures and delightful landscapes which are immediately visible to anyone walking through the valley, the mineral world usually remains hidden to the average eye – under vegetation, scree and stone. The knowledge and experience of expert prospectors is needed to discover the mineral rarities. Why not take a minerals guided tour with a local expert and learn more about searching for crystals?

Fotos: © Mischa Crumbach /designbyearth.com/binntal-minerals