'Glück Auf!' in the Sauberg
The first finding of tin ore in Germany certainly didn't give rise to a 'tin rush'. Nevertheless, the discovery made in 1240 in Seifental was to have a lasting significance for the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) region. By the end of the 14th C, Ehrenfriedersdorf was producing around 150 tonnes of metallic tin a year. During this time, the settlement grew to become the most important mining town in the region. Several outstanding achievements, such as the laying of a water supply trench (the so-called Röhrgraben) or the digging of drainage tunnels, made this rapid growth possible. Master craftsmen and miners together developed the 'Ehrenfriedersdorfer Radpumpe' (waterwheel-powered device for pumping water out of the mine); its construction techniques were adopted by the mining industry up to the 19th C. The high production costs of tin mining brought about the closure of the pit in Ehrenfriedersdorf on 3 October 1990. However, experts claim there are enough deposits to continue mining ore for at least another seventy years.
After the last pit in Ehrenfriedersdorf stopped operating, it was reopened to visitors. In the pit you can experience up close how ore was mined in our region.
Equipped with safety helmet and lamp, overalls and rubber boots, you will
descend 100 m underground in a miner's cage-lift, where you will learn about
the different mining methods throughout history. Here you will see working
machines powered by air pressure, take a ride on the pit locomotive, discover
the varied geology of the deposit, or even try your hand with a 'Schlägel
and Eisen', the tools used by miners in the Middle Ages. A trip through the
pit is sure to turn into an exciting adventure!
Valuable ore and precious stones
The Mineralogical Collection above ground contains over 1,000 'treasures of the earth'. The geological and mineralogical diversity of the Ehrenfriedersdorf deposit can be seen in the different mineral and rock stages displayed. One of the highlights is the reconstruction of a druse - a natural cavity filled with crystals.
The gem-cutter's workshop shows the process of an old and mysterious craft. The gem-cutter mainly prepares local precious stones and ores to be displayed in the museum or as decorations.
Health from the depths of the earth
The special climate in the mine made it possible to open a 'Heilstollen', an underground facility for the treatment of asthma, in 1997. The air here has a temperature of 8 °C and relative humidity of 100 %, making it around 100 times cleaner from dust and allergens than surface air.
The subterranean therapy eases the symptoms of upper-respiratory ailments, such as bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, or hayfever. This is a natural therapy and its practice can lead to less dependence on medications that are often expensive and have undesirable side effects.
Condensed Tour: Sat, Sun, Bank Holidays: 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm
Special tours and Miner's Programme available for groups
CAR: Ehrenfriedersdorf is on the B 95 from Chemnitz - Annaberg-Buchholz.
Take the most southern exit in the town (signposted 'Besucherbergwerk').
Zinngrube Ehrenfriedersdorf, Besucherbergwerk &
Mineralogisches Museum GmbH - Geschäftsführer Matthias Kreibich
- Am Sauberg 1 - 09427 Ehrenfriedersdorf - Tel.: 037341 2557 - Fax: 037341
50159 - e-mail: email@example.com - Amtsgericht Chemnitz,
HRB 17241 - Umsatzsteueridentifikationsnummer: DE 176810243I