The area around Altenberg was mined for over 550 years. During this period, more than 100,000 tonnes of tin were extracted, on both sides of the Saxon-Bohemian border, from one the world’s largest tin ore deposits. Important monuments such as the Wäsche IV (ore washer) in Altenberg, the mining installations in Zinnwald, Lauenstein Castle and Lauenstein Church are testimonies of mining, the technologies used, the administration and the connections between the areas under Saxon and Bohemian rule.

Important Locations and Sites


Wäsche IV

In the 16th century, wet stamping was developed in the Erzgebirge to crush the ore. Later this process was used throughout the world. One place where this process was performed is the historic washing works, Wäsche IV, in Altenberg. The washing works was closed down in 1952 and converted into a technical exhibition centre. Since then it has been run as a museum.

Vereinigt Zwitterfeld zu Zinnwald

Tin, tungsten and lithium were mined in Zinnwald. The Tiefen Bünau adit was cut to drain the mines in the 17th century (1686). The Tiefe Hilfe Gottes adit was excavated in the middle of the 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, modern operating plant was built. These include the entry building at the Tiefen Bünau adit. The buildings and plant at Vereinigt Zwitterfeld, the Tiefen Bünau adit and the Tiefen Hilfe Gottes adit are currently used as visitors’ mines.

Lauenstein Castle

Lauenstein Castle was built around the end of the 12th century. Following its conversion to a spectacular palace in the 15th century, it was owned from 1517 to 1821 by the noble family von Bünau, who were instrumental in the development of mining in the Saxon Erzgebirge. The fully renovated castle contains the Eastern Erzgebirge Museum and a collection showcasing history and nature in the eastern Erzgebirge.

Lauenstein Town Church

Just like the castle, Lauenstein Town Church also documents the von Bünau family’s connection with mining. Following a town fire, it was rebuilt by Günther von Bünau in 1594. The rebuilding and interior were funded by the profits the family had made in tin and iron ore mining. In addition to the historically significant altar, its pulpit and baptismal font, the valuable Bünau family burial chapel from 1609 is particularly interesting.

Interactive Map


Information and Addresses


Stadtverwaltung Altenberg

Platz des Bergmanns 2
01773 Altenberg

Phone: +49 (0) 35056 23993

Tourist-Info-Büro Altenberg

Am Bahnhof 1
01773 Altenberg

Phone: +49 (0) 35056 23993


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