Freiberg Mining Landscape


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Located in the central part of the Saxon Ore Mountains, this large linear cluster of landscapes is centred on the Freiberg mining town (4.4-DE), oriented north and south and linked by surface and underground water management features, including mine adits systems. It stretches from the lower northern boundary of the mountain range to the Czech border in the upper southern part of the Ore Mountains. Several river valleys intersect the region, in particular the Mulde River that was used as a natural water corridor for mining activities. Due to the favourable morphology of the region, the Mulde and Striegis river valleys were preferably used as starting points for the installation of adits (lowest discharge points). Located at or near the Mulde River, several mining districts developed between the 12th and the 17th centuries to the north of Freiberg as well as to the south. Located in the Northern mining district are the Gersdorf mining landscape (4.1-DE) as well as the ore canal, related mines and smeltery (4.2-DE). The mine Himmelfahrt Fundgrube (4.3-DE) is located in the Freiberg central mining district. To the south, the Zug mining landscape (4.5-DE) and the Brand-Erbisdorf mining landscape (4.6-DE) are located in the Freiberg southern mining district.

The Freiberg mining landscape is remarkably authentic and comprises an impressive multi-layered silver mining landscape that covers the complete system of silver mining operations from the 12th to the 20th centuries. It is outstanding testimony to the influence mining predominantly of silver had on the transformation of the landscape. Only mines in the Freiberg Mining Landscape remained predominantly silver mines until the early 20th century due to the scale (laterally and in depth) of silver-bearing ore deposits. The high silver production of the Freiberg region in the late 15th and the first half of the 16th century gave the main impulses for technological innovation and scientific achievement, the establishment of an educational system, and a state-controlled mining system which set standards in Europe and abroad, or influenced these standards.

Elements of the Freiberg Mining Landscape