The village of Altenberg / Vieille Montagne, or Kelmis , or La Calamine relocated its museum to this new place (https://www.mvm-kelmis.be) , and reopened it in a new setting by Sept. 14th, 2018 . This requires a cache in order to support the recognition of this village, rich in history, and located in the beautiful landscape of East Belgium. Not only can you enjoy being here, and taking nice walks in the close surroundings, the village is as well a good access place by car or bike to the cities of Aachen, Eupen, Maastricht and Liege, and it is well connected to the train lines around via busses to Aachen, Welkenradt, and Eupen.
The name Altenberg / Vieille Montagne refers to the ongoing exploitation of Zinc minerals from ancient times already. The mineral Galmei relates to the other names, Kelmis, and La Calamine. >br> However, the impact of the mining activities was increased after J.J. Dony introduced a new process for the extraction of Zinc from the mineral that made the production of the metal more efficient, and boosted the local industry, especially after the "Société des Mines et Fonderies de Zinc de la Vieille Montagne" overtook the mining , extraction and refining facilities. The company as well introduced modern marketing methods that enhanced the recognition of Zinc as material and increased the needs for it via new products. They even re-shaped the appearance of the big cities of the time (e.g. by the use of Zinc roofs , as introduced to Paris center by the reknown architect Haussmann).
With the success of the mining, also the population enjoyed a positive socio-economic development: there were well-paid jobs available, and even social services including medical supplies were offered by the mining company. There was time for leisure and eduation, and the development of dreams, especially after the re-arrangement of Europe after the Napolean area.
Among the various names of the village is one more: Neutral-Moresnet (http://www.grenzrouten.eu/themen/4neutral-moresnet/index.html) . The name refers to the peculiar political condition of the place that was established after the Napolean wars as part of the Vienna contract, namely a tiny triangle of a region that was not under the direct influence of the big powers. This special condition was due to the exploitation of the Zinc mineral Galmei / Calamine in mines. The mineral is essential to enhance the quality of of metal blends and especially it allows the easy production of brass / laiton / Messing. The galmei excarvations and the brass production had a big and positive impact on the socio-economic development of the region and its inhabitants. It gave rise to prosperity, into the working class population, with an increase in general education and a move towards liberal political ideas. A local dream for a non-national form of a state developped, and the language Esperanto was trained and expanded to provide a modern multi-root and easy-to-practice communication tool for the future.
For the cache, we provide a magnetic box (see spoiler) where you can log your visit even if you prefer not to pay a visit into the museum. We though really recommend to consider this! Opening hours: Wed-Sat, 10.00-17,00.
The box does NOT contain a pencil.
More links to get information:
Remarks: We travel a lot, we can understand texts in 6 languages, and we are home in three European countries, each of them using their own local/national language. We still decided to communicate in English in our caches since this is the current lingua franca, the most common option we share in communication across our diverse origins. We experienced ourselves how difficult caching may turn out for non-locals. Those who prefer their own language, please kindly consult with google translate (translate.google.com/?hl=de) .