Alte Mordgrube Fundgrube Mine

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.

An extensive and significant stock of surface buildings has been preserved at the Alte Mordgrube (mine) with the Mendenschacht (shaft). The mine dates from 1516, the preserved surface buildings of the Mendenschacht were built between 1825 and 1870 when the mine became one of the most important lead mines in the region. After closure in 1899 the buildings became part of the Freiberg leather factory Stecher which converted the former dressing floor of the mine into a leather production site and the buildings of the Mendenschacht mostly into residential buildings. This adaptive reuse preserved the whole ensemble of the shaft with its house of prayer, administration building, mine forge, water pumping house, shaft and engine building, shaft protection building (Kaue) and coal house (Kohlenhaus). Together with the rearrangement of the inner courtyard into a park area by the new owner, the mine documents the layout of an important 19th century ore mine as well as the subsequent use following the cessation of mining at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries. All buildings of the ensemble have been carefully recently renovated and are still in use for housing and commercial functions.

Also partly preserved is the horse railway embankment between the mine and the former dressing floor north of the Mendenschacht, built between 1828 and 1829 for the first iron railway in the Freiberg mining area.

In the mine, at the 140-m level of the Tiefer Fürstenstolln (adit), a famous water-column machine, built by the Freiberg Maschinendirektor (engine director) Christian Friedrich Brendel (1776-1861) between 1820 and 1824, is preserved. This machine found its way into the technical literature of the time and was with its efficiency in water pumping (replacement of seven water pumping wheels) the main reason for the success of the mine.