Roter Graben (man-made ditch)

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 Roter Graben, an approximately 7.5 km-long partly stilted ditch, is one of the best known man-made ditches in the Freiberg mining landscape. It originally ran from Freiberg to Halsbrücke, and was later extended as far as the Churprinz August Friedrich Erbstolln mine in Großschirma. The ditch was built in 1614/15, and fed by important adits draining the mines of the Himmelfahrt Fundgrube (e.g. Alter/Tiefer Fürstenstolln adit). The mouths of numerous adits are located just by the Roter Graben, which, in the late 19th century, channelled water volumes of between 800 and 1,000 L/s, thereby occasionally exceeding the quantities of the Freiberger Mulde. It supplied water to the mine water pumping systems and water-driven gins at important mines on the Halsbrücker Spat (ore vein) in the northern Freiberg mining district. Built around 1840, the ore washer of the Oberes Neues Geschrei Fundgrube marks the end of the Roter Graben (ditch), whose water was channelled using the waterwheel in a separate wheelhouse. The water inlet has been preserved. Connected to the ditch via a leat is the hoisting house of the Oberes Neues Geschrei Fundgrube (mine) which was created as a Lichtloch (air shaft) for driving the Rothschönberger Stolln (drainage gallery) between the Reiche Zeche’s main shaft and the Lichtloch VIII in Halsbrücke.

Today only channelling water between the mouth of the Verträgliche Gesellschaft adit and Halsbrücke, the ditch has various drains and retaining walls, as well as sections of leats around the Halsbrücke site.