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Outstanding universal value

What makes the Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region unique in a global context?

As part of its World Heritage nomination process, the Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region applied for three out of the six possible acceptance criteria set out in the UNESCO Guidelines.

The cross-border Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region comprises 22 component parts that bear witness to the marked influence of centuries of mining activity on the development of the cultural landscape and its history. 

The inscription of the Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region on the UNESCO World Heritage List is justified in particular by meeting the following criteria:


Criterion II

The Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region is an exceptional testimony to the outstanding role and strong global influence of Saxon-Bohemian Ore Mountains as a centre for technological and scientific innovations from the Renaissance up to the modern era. During several periods of mining history, significant achievements related to the mining industry emanated from the region and were successfully transferred, or influenced subsequent developments in other mining regions.

The technological and scientific achievements of mining

Exceptional technological and scientific accomplishments originated from Saxon-Bohemian ore mining, which had a significant impact on developments in other mining regions around the world. These achievements included innovations in water-raising technology and ore smelting, the production of the first geological maps, the printing of the first textbooks and scientific works on mining technology, and the foundation of the world’s first mining academy in Freiberg.

Criterion III

The Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region bears exceptional testimony to technological, scientific, administrative, educational, managerial and social aspects that underpin the intangible dimension of living traditions, ideas and beliefs of the people associated with the Erzgebirge culture.

The emergence of state-controlled mining

The state-controlled mining system (“Direktionsprinzip”) emerged in the Erzgebirge and later spread throughout Europe; not only did it revolutionise mining administration, but it also had an impact on the legal system and the financing of mining projects. It was therefore a main driver in the dynamic development of mining in the region. It also shaped the social conditions and encouraged the emergence of a culture based around mining (see mining parades, among others).

Criterion IV

The Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region is a remarkable example of a cross-border region where a unique mining cultural landscape formed over 800 years of mining activity (12th to 20th century).

The emergence of a mining cultural landscape shaped by mining

Based on the extraordinary variety of ores (raw materials) and their concentration in specific areas, a cross-border mining cultural landscape emerged as a result of mining. This landscape is still visible today in the mining towns and associated ore mining landscapes, making it unique in the global context.