Schneeberg Mining Landscape


Back to list

The Schneeberg Mining Landscape comprises the historic centre of the mining town Schneeberg, and the directly associated mining landscape. The historic centre is located on top of the Schneeberg Mountain. The mining landscape stretches on a mountain plateau south of the city centre from the Schlema river valley and the Neustädtel urban district to the south-east to the Filzteich (pond) and to the east down to the Zschorlaubach (beck) valley. The Siebenschlehen processing site is located in the Schlema valley. The mines are scattered on the mountain plateau in a mostly agricultural landscape. Only the mine workings of the Fundgrube St. Anna am Freudenstein (mine) east of Schneeberg are located along the Zschorlaubach (beck) valley and are connected to the mining landscape by underground structures. Below the surface, the Obere Fürstenstolln (adit) coming from Oberschlema connects the Schneeberg mining town with the Schneeberg mines in the Neustädtel area.

The Schneeberg mining landscape provided the ores for the globally significant production of blue dyes (cobalt blue) in the Ore Mountains. During the 16th century silver mining declined in the Schneeberg Mining Landscape and was replaced by cobalt mining after the discovery that the seemingly useless cobalt ore could be used to produce blue pigments. Under the leadership of the Saxon Elector the Saxon cobalt blue dye factories founded in 1641/49 a cartel for the production of cobalt blue dyes which from now on controlled the European cobalt blue dye market for more than 100 years. The central role of Saxony in the production was based on the rich cobalt ore deposits of the Schneeberg mining landscape, a sophisticated economic strategy and the education of highly skilled experts including miners, smelters as well as managerial staff. In 1654, 34 mines produced over 260 t cobalt ore per year. Until 1718 this production rose to more than 400 t.

What can be visited?