Rothschönberg Adit

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.

The northern part of the Rothschönberger Stolln (adit), originally financed by the Saxon state, stretches from Rothschönberg to Halsbrücke over a length of around 18 km. Six of its air shafts (5 heaps and the above ground complex of the 4th air shaft) are located in forest or agricultural areas. The 7th and 8th air shafts are located at the edge of Halsbrücke. Its above ground structures in the central and southern Freiberg mining area, originally financed by the Freiberg mines, are located in agricultural landscapes (Oberes Neues Geschrei mine, Drei-Brüder-Schacht mine) or at the research and teaching mine Reiche Zeche of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

The Rothschönberger Adit is regarded worldwide as the pinnacle of the technological development of trans-regional water-adits. Constructed from 1844 onwards, it is the most important and deepest lying adit system of the Freiberg Mining District still in operation. The fiscal section of the Rothschönberg Adit documents the largest and most recent planned adit built in the Industrial Age for silver ore mining in the Ore Mountains. Advanced between 1844 and 1882, the Rothschönberg Adit gave the last powerful impulse to mining in the Freiberg/Brand-Erbisdorf area until operations were temporarily abandoned in 1913. In the final mining period, it drained water from the inter-connected mines as well as from the underground power plant in the Drei-Brüder-Schacht (shaft), shutdown in 1972. To this very day it continues to drain all the mines in the mining areas of the central, southern and northern Freiberg mining districts under which the adit runs. Following its completion, the adit had a total length in excess of 50 km. The adit is the endpoint of the historic Revierwasserlaufanstalt RWA (active mining water management system) and collects the water of the Freiberg mining districts and discharges it into the river Triebisch near the village of Rothschönberg. Its construction tied in with numerous technological innovations, the most significant of which was the transition from mine surveying using cord and compass to employing a theodolite.

Numerous mining monuments are preserved such as the heaps of the Lichtloch I to III, V and VI (air shafts) as well as the standardised surface buildings and huge wheel chambers at the Lichtloch IV (air shaft) with its shaft building, the remains of the wheelhouse chamber and administration, the assembly building of Lichtloch VII and the shaft building with the remains of the wheel chamber, the administration and assembly building of Lichtloch VIII. A man-made ditch with several tunnels for the supply of water energy for the Schwamkrugturbine at Lichtloch V (air shaft) was built between 1844 and 1846 to pump the water out of the adit whilst under construction.