Lauenstein Administrative Centre


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    Lauenstein Castle and the ruins of the old castle

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    Lauenstein Castle

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    Altar in the Lauenstein church

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    Epitaph of the Bünau family in the Lauenstein church

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    Miners‘s illustration on the castle portal

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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.

Since 1517 the Saxon branch of the Saxon-Bohemian noble family of the Bünau became for 300 years the landlords of the dominion Lauenstein and with this the owners of the Zinnwald mines which they controlled from their administrative centre at Lauenstein. The mining and historic connections between the Saxon and Bohemian side of mining in the Ore Mountains are particularly apparent at the Zinnwald deposit. Lauenstein shares close ties with tin mining in Zinnwald, which came about as a result of the castle being taken over by the aristocratic German-Bohemian von Bünau family.

Based at Lauenstein Castle, the aristocratic von Bünau family had been heavily involved with developing mining on the Saxon side between 1517 and 1821. The family had a far-reaching influence over cultural and economic development in the eastern Ore Mountains on the Bohemian and the Saxon side. The Lauenstein castle and church are tangible witnesses of an aristocratic family’s connections and role as landlords of the mining property, as well as of the high income earned from tin mining at the family owned tin mines of Zinnwald. The Tiefer Bünau adit witnesses the family’s engagement in mining at Zinnwald.

The Lauenstein Castle was the administrative centre of this engagement and its gate is still crowned by reliefs of two miners at each side and an underground mining scenario in the middle. In the church, to the northeast of the chancel is the Bünau chapel, erected in 1609. It houses the sandstone epitaph of the von Bünau family, and has an elaborately decorated sandstone entrance designed in late-Renaissance style. The magnificent family epitaph is made from unprocessed sandstone, and is adorned with valuable materials, such as alabaster, agate and jasper. On the ground in front of the epitaph are three relief tomb slabs, also made from sandstone, for Günther von Bünau and his two wives.