Weißer Hirsch Fundgrube Mine


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 Weißer Hirsch Fundgrube (mine) was first mentioned in the 17th century as a cobalt mine. The consolidation of the most important Schneeberg and Schneeberg-Neustädtler mines into the single Schneeberger cobalt ore field in 1880 ultimately accorded this mine a central position. At the end of end of the 18th or beginning of the 19th century the existing pump shaft of the Weißer Hirsch Fundgrube (mine) was expanded into the central pump and hoisting shaft in the Schneeberg Mining Landscape. From the end of the 19th century, uranium ore mining was also undertaken.

In the area of the Weißer Hirsch Fundgrube (mine), the large heap, which contains tailings in addition to waste rock, is bounded in the direction of the former railway line by high masonry. Situated above the former Schneeberg-Neustädtler railway station, the hoisting house of the Weißer Hirsch Fundgrube, built by 1852, stands on the steep collapsed tip bounded by high retaining walls. This is a well preserved example of a water- powered gin hoisting house with the later added steam-powered gin extensions.

The reversible wheel room (Kehrradstube) installed in the lying wall of the shaft in the waste heap is an impressive machine room, forming – together with the water-driven gin hoisting house (Wassergöpeltreibehaus) – a single technical unit. The wheelhouse (Radstube), which is almost completely lined with quarry stones, is completed with a barrel vault.

Moreover, the mine is known throughout the world particularly because of the large number of uranium minerals discovered here for the first time (such as zeunerite, walpurgite, uranospinite, uranosphaerite, trögerite, nováčekite, a. o.). Following World War II, the mine was one of the first shafts to be used by the SAG Wismut company in connection with the beginning of uranium ore mining activity, forming the starting point for uranium ore mining in the region.