Schneeberg mining town


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 mining town of Schneeberg was established in a sparsely populated area, in the direct vicinity of mines that had been operating here since 1470. It was the first significant new mining town founded for the newly burgeoning silver ore mining activity during the second mining period in the Western Ore Mountains. It represents the rapid and haphazard rise of a mining town based on significant silver ore finds with a brief heyday. Schneeberg developed out of a disperse miner’s settlement and was laid out following the topography of the surrounding landscape. The buildings are scattered across the peak of the Schneeberg (mountain). The construction of the buildings was carried out without any building plan right in the midst of the mines.

The town fire of 1719 was followed by the construction of Baroque buildings, which makes the settlement distinct from other mining towns in the region. In connection with the founding of the mining town, representative sacred and profane buildings were built. Schneeberg is also associated to prominent figures connected to mining who came from or lived and worked there e.g. Christian Friedrich Brendel (1776-1861), the master engineer in Freiberg, machine designer as well as engineering director of mining in Saxony.