Telephone alcove

Main entrance of the Domaniale Mine in Nieuwstraat, with the telephone alcove on the right, in around 1925 (Kerkrade Municipal Archives)

From 1846 onwards, the Domaniale Mine was leased from the Dutch state by the Aachen-Maastricht Railway Company. At the time, this was owned by two legal entities,

  • the Netherlands-based AMSM and
  • the Prussian-based AMEG (Aachen-Maastrichter Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft)

    The workforce also consisted of German and Dutch workers, many of whom therefore lived in Germany.
    The national border between Prussia and the Netherlands was close to the main entrance of the Domaniale Mine. Since international phone calls were very expensive at the time, someone came up with the bright idea of installing a kind of bay window against the façade, so that it entered German territory and gave the mine a direct connection to the German telephone network.
    German domestic calls could then be made cheaply from the Dutch mine.

The main entrance shortly before demolition around 1974. The bay window no longer exists, but its contours can still be clearly seen. (Kerkrade Municipal Archives/J. Pöttgens)

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