The oldest history of Michal mine is connected with an effort of the former Austrian state to support coal mining as an inevitable precondition for industry development. In 1842 a circular prospect pit in Michálkovice was founded with financing from the state mining fund and a year later it began to sink two pits there. The first of them, a Ferdinand pit, gave way in the 1880s. The other one was renamed as a Michal shaft after a deceased imperial adviser Michael Laier. In 1856 when the State Mine Enterprise performed considerable loses, the mine's ownership was passed to The Ferdinand Northern Railway Company, which had built and operated the railways network from Vienna through Ostrava and towards Polish salt mines, up to Czechoslovakian nationaisation in 1945, when it became a part of the Ostrava-Karvina Colliery syndikate, state enterprise. In 1946 the mine was renamed after a social-democratic deputy of The Austrian Reichstag Petr Cingr. The name has changed several times since then.
As a result of the heavy industry's transition in the Ostrava region, the Petr Cingr mine was closed down in June 30, 1993. The last elevator cage was hoisted on a spare winding machine in June 2, 1994. The coal pit was filled up in 1995. With the produktivity reduction in 1994, the whole area was overtaken by the Czech Republic's Ministry of Culture which established The Ostrava Museum of Industry there. It fused later with the Office For the Preservation of Monuments, Ostrava.
Construction and technical development
During its operation, the Michal mine went through a gradual technical and constructional development. The year 1862 was a milestone because the mine was connected to a mining railway, which allowed the fluent transportation of coal. The first major reconstruction occurred probably in 1870. After a collapse of the pit stem in the top part of the pit building, the engine house and the boiler house had to be rebuilt. The next alterations followed between 1913 - 1915, when the mine was completely reconstructed in order to concentrate mining from the surrounding smaller mines. The mining concentration was followed by the introduction of an electrical drive instead of old-fashioned steam engines. With the intent to achieve full electrification of its mines, the company built their own large, modern power station on the František mine around 1912. The architectural and operational design of the Michal mine, according to an important architect František Fiala - a student of Otto Wagner, was to emphasize an economical and technical prestige of The Ferdinand Northern Railway Company in the Ostrava-Karvina district.
383,400 tons of coal was mined there in 1916. The pit was 671 m deep and 17 seams of coal was extracted from 50 to 200 cm in diameter. The cloakroom and bathroom were originally designed for 1512 miners. However in course of time, the number of employees grew and within the second half of the 20th century, it outgrew twice the original capacity.
Other reconstructions in the 1920s, 1940s and at the turn of the 1950s and 1960s were applied to the coal washing plant and the coal loading and switch houses. The mine site still remains since its last major reconstruction was finished in 1915 without any particular, substantial changes, and it is an example of the unique operational, technical and architectural unit. After closing down the mining operation, the conservational purpose was to keep the site in its original state as the people, who used to work there, left it like it was yesterday, keeping everything in its place including the dirty walls, the much-handled rails, the worn down stairs and the cracked paint. On no account would the Office for Preservation of Monuments try to reconstruct or embellish anything.