Sauberg Haupt- und Richtschacht Shaft


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 most important mining area was on the Sauberg (mountain) close to Ehrenfriedersdorf. Deep mining started in 1536 with the construction of the Tiefer Sauberg adit. Since then the shaft was modernized several times up to its current status in 1966. The tin mine was closed in 1990 and converted into a mining museum. Numerous original surface installations from this period like the Sauberger main and pilot shaft with its heap, the ruins of the Morgenröther sorting house with the mouth of the ore bunker, and the cultural centre are preserved on the Sauberg mountain. Underground structures include galleries and mine workings from the 15th to the 20th centuries.

By the middle of the 15th century mining had declined in importance, and in 1516 the deep mines on the Sauberg were flooded. The crisis of 1516 was averted through the construction of the Tiefer Sauberger adit together with the introduction of a new water pumping technology named after the mining city Ehrenfriedersdorf as Ehrenfriedersdorfer Kunstgezeug (water-wheel-driven pumping system). Dating from the middle of the 16th century, this new water pumping technology was used here for the first time and subsequently spread across the whole mining sector. The Ehrenfriedersdorf Kunstgezeug described by Georgius Agricola in the 16th century is regarded as the archetype for such pumping engines all over the world. An original underground wheel-chamber of such a water pumping engine from the 16th century is preserved in the mine.

The ruin on the site made of quarry stone masonry is the former Morgenröther sorting house, which was in operation until around 1825. In 1872 the sorting house was converted in an ore storehouse, which in 1925 was broken down all the way to the foundation walls, which are still visible today. Numerous original surface installations from the last mining period like the Sauberger main and pilot shaft with its heap are preserved on the Sauberg. The heap of the Sauberg main and pilot shaft stretches across the western slope of the Sauberg (mountain), and accrued during the operational period of the shaft from 1857 onwards. The waste heap has its current appearance since 1947.