The Freiberg Northern Mining District clearly illustrates the complex interaction between mining, smelting, infrastructure and social structures from the 18th century. This interrelation is demonstrated by historical monuments such as the ore canal with its two boat lifts for transporting ores from the mines to Halsbrücke smeltery, where amalgamation was used to extract silver on a large scale for the first time around 1800, as well as the ore washer, the Hohe Esse chimney stack and the smelters’ houses and the slag bath.
Important Locations and Sites
Halsbrücke Smelting Complex
Following its expansion at the beginning of the 17th century, the Halsbrücke smelting complex became one of the most important smelting complexes in the Erzgebirge, alongside Muldenhütten. Silver ore was won for the first time here using the amalgamation process. Another point of interest is the construction of a spa bath using hot slags in 1804. Between 1888 and 1898, a 140-metre-high chimney (Hohe Esse) was erected to prevent smoke damage to shaft buildings. It has been preserved to this day and was one of the tallest industrial chimneys in the world for some time. Four half-timbered smelters’ houses have also been preserved. Various firms continue traditional smelting activities in Halsbrücke to this day.
Alte Hoffnung Gottes Main Adit Mine
The Alte Hoffnung Gottes main adit with the Einigkeit flatrod-system and drawing shaft as the main shaft dates back to 1741. At a depth of 531 metres, the shaft was one of the deepest in the Freiberg ore fields for many years. The Alte Hoffnung Gottes main adit mine was the only mine that remained in operation in the ore fields until its closure in 1939. Between 1952 and 1959 mine workings were cleared again. The mine’s original surface buildings stand on the heap plateaus of the Einigkeit shaft, as do the Huthaus (administration and assembly building), constructed in 1769, and the engine house, the pit foreman’s house and the powder storehouse from 1795.