Bludná mining district

MINING REGION ERZGEBIRGE/KRUŠNOHOŘÍ

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.

Numerous heaps, shaft collapses near adit mouths and sunken shaft entrances still recall the location of tin and iron mines at Bludná. Here, the exceptionally well-preserved opencast of the Suzanna mine on the Sněžná hůrka hill is the most illustrative and largest relic of the tin mining, which started in the early 16th century. The remains of the Suzanna mine consist of a strip of vertical open pits with an aggregate length of nearly 400 m, a width of up to 5 m and a depth of 8-10 m. Inside the deepest part of the pit, three short levels driven by fire-setting can be observed; in the middle of the pit, an oval-shaped shaft has been preserved. Remarkable opencast workings from the 16th century can also be found around the Laurentius and Heiliger Geist mines on the western slope of the Sněžná hůrka hill or close to the Bludná settlement where the Drahá kožešina (Precious fur) mine operated.

Apart from its tin mining sites, this extensive mining landscape also contains several iron ore (hematite) deposits which were processed locally, from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. Whilst the tin ores were bound to steep, mostly N-S trending greisen veins, the main iron-ore mines followed the so-called Bludná fault, a huge NW-SE striking fault zone about 18 km long and up to more than 100 m wide, which was decisive for the formation of quartz veins containing hematite or, alternatively, also manganese ores. The main ore, hematite formed frequently beautiful hemispherical formations of up to 0.5 metre in diameter. Since the 19th century, this so called kidney ore has been collected and the best pieces supplied to museums worldwide.

Water to power mine installations was fed by the Horní Blatná water ditch (1540-1544) which passes Bludná.