Monuments of Coal Mining in Oelsnitz/Erzgebirge


Historical records of ore mining in the Ore Mountains begin in 1168, when silver ores were discovered in the vicinity of today's Freiberg. More than 800 years of mining history of the Ore Mountains are based on this discovery.

The Lugau-Oelsnitz area is the most recent of the three large black coal deposits in Saxony. Coal mining in the Lugau-Oelsnitz mining district established an important basis for the industrial development of Saxony from the middle of the 19th century. Only lasting for about one century, mining shaped the Lugau and Oelsnitz area quite significantly and also exerted an enduring influence on the urban development.

As one of the main extraction shafts in the first third of the 20th century, the Kaiserin-Augusta-Schacht (shaft), later renamed the Karl-Liebknecht-Schacht (shaft) was among the most important shafts in the coal mining industry in Saxony. From 1922 to 1933, the shaft underwent a comprehensive modernisation and was expanded into a central site for conveying, dressing and shipment. It was during this time that the approximately 50 m high head frame was constructed. Following the completion of these works, this site was regarded as the most modern Saxon shaft complex, and various technical solutions ensured it also international significance. It was at the same time one of the most productive shafts in Germany with an annual production output of approx. 1 million tonnes of coal. Apart from the remarkable industrial architecture, the large scope of technical equipment preserved in its original state is likewise significant.

The heap of the Deutschlandschacht characterising the landscape of the former Deutschland colliery is representative of Saxon coal mining in the Ore Mountains and their foothills. Connected to the intensive mining operation are the educational institutions and schools built between 1952 and 1954, which count among the earliest school buildings constructed in the GDR. The former miners' cultural centre Hans Marchwitza exemplifies GDR architecture of the 1950s.