The Freiberg mining district is not only the oldest district, but was also considered the largest and most important mining district in Saxony. More than two-thirds of all Erzgebirge silver was mined here. Additionally, the region also produced copper, lead ore, and other resources. For the purposes of the UNESCO World Heritage nomination, the Freiberg mining region includes the mining landscapes of Gersdorf, the Himmelfahrt mine and Muldenhütten smelting complex, the settlements of Zug and Brand-Erbisdorf, the historic Freiberg old town, and the ore canal and mines in the northern part of the Freiberg district. The Rothschönberger Stolln drainage gallery and the Freiberg RWA active mining water management system demonstrate how water was successfully controlled and used to support mining activities.
The Freiberg mining landscape is the oldest and most important area for silver extraction in the Erzgebirge. Silver was continuously mined in this area from 1168 until 1968. As the first mining town in the Erzgebirge, Freiberg was founded in 1168. Over time, many important mining landscapes – such as those around Gersdorf, Zug, and the Himmelfahrt mine – arose as a result of the town’s economic position, the discovery of rich veins of ore, and the implementation of various mining technologies. These mining landscapes are connected by a water management system comprising several elements – the Rothschönberger Stolln drainage gallery, the Freiberg RWA active mining water management system, and the Mulde river.