The line of heaps and shaft collapses on the Schweizer silver vein is an outstanding example of aboveground remains of mining activities from the first half of the 16th century when mining was largely confined to shallow pits located near to each other as a consequence of the then valid mining law.
More than one hundred heaps and shaft depressions are preserved over a distance of 2.5 km, constituting thus one of largest uninterrupted zone of early modern heaps and shaft depressions in Europe. The Schweizer vein, discovered in 1526, was the second most profitable vein in the Jáchymov mining area in the 16th century; until 1589, from 31 mines on this vein, around 30 t of silver were extracted. The Schweizer vein belongs to the group of N-S striking vein structures (the so called ‘midnight veins’). Its outcrop which almost followed the course of the present road from Mariánská village to the Abertamy turn is documented by a broad zone with a dense concentration of heaps and shaft depressions stretching nearly 2.5 km. This zone dates from the first half of the 16th century when, under the Jáchymov mining code, shafts sunk where the ore was discovered (the so-called “discovery shafts”) were located in the centre of the mining claim which was about 84 m long and 14 m wide. To this claim, mining claims sized approximately 56 x 14 m were allotted on both sides of the “discovery shaft”. Due to the small size of the allotments, the outcrop areas of the ore veins were covered with hundreds of small shafts which are located near to each other.