Altenberg mining region, the easternmost district of the Erzgebirge, is represented by the Altenberg-Zinnwald mining landscape, the Lauenstein administrative centre (including the castle and town church), and the archaeological sites related to the high-medieval silver mines in Dippoldiswalde. While the areas around Dippoldiswalde were primarily engaged in silver mining, tin-ore mining dominated the industry around Altenberg and Zinnwald. The headframe and surface installations of the Arno-Lippmann shaft survive as characteristic technical monuments from the mine’s final phase of operation.
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.
An archaeological site demonstrates the presence of silver mining in and around Dippoldiswalde in the Erzgebirge as early as the High Middle Ages. The almost completely preserved underground mining landscape from the 12th/13th century is of exceptional importance for research into the early history of mining in the Erzgebirge. To date, archaeological excavations have identified 15 shafts, and the historical objects found there provide a unique insight into early mining in the Erzgebirge.
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