Alte Thiele Mine


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.

Tin mining from placer deposits is certainly older than the tin ore mining in hard rock as well as the silver ore mining in the region. Traces of this type of mining are to be found in the form of placer waste heaps in the Buchholz municipal forest. The forthcoming tin ore lode mining ensued not later than the 16th century. The pits were named after the principle entrepreneurs, the Thiele family. Tin ore mining, which was operated on an intermittent basis, was finally discontinued in 1801.

The heaps are irregularly lined, several metres high and today overgrown with trees and other vegetation. Following the placer tin mining, vein deposits were discovered, which were opened up using the fire-setting method. The elongated ‘Pingen’ of the Alte and Flache Thiele mines testify to the large-scale underground mining undertaken there, down to a depth of 112 m. The largest shaft collapses included in series of collapses are some 70 m long, 4 to 10 m wide and up to 15 m deep.