The region surrounding Ehrenfriedersdorf is one of the oldest medieval tin ore mining areas in Germany. Tin ore was mined here from the beginning of the 13th century. With the development of new water pumping technology, the Ehrenfriedersdorfer Kunstgezeug, mining restarted in the 16th century after a temporary halt. The patented process was subsequently applied in the entire mining industry. Numerous surface installations from this second flourishing of mining are preserved.

  • Main Elements
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  • Sauberg main and pilot shaft

    Numerous witnesses to these periods of mining remain – including, for example, the elements of the Sauberg main and pilot shaft and its heaps, the ruins of the Morgenröthe cobbing house, the cultural centre, and the old underhand stopes which became visible after a collapse in 1985. Today, the Sauberg main and pilot shaft is open as a museum under the name of the Ehrenfriedersdorf visitors’ mine.

    • Sauberg main and pilot shaft – shaft building

      The central building in the Sauberg main and pilot shaft complex is the shaft building. The three-storey building was first erected during the sinking of the main and pilot shaft in 1855 and was remodelled on several occasions. The ground and first floor are made of rendered brick masonry. The second floor and the gable have a half-timbered construction and are partly filled in. The half-timbering was later overlaid with wood. Today, this overlay is covered with imitation shingles. In 1964/65, the gabled roof of the building was expanded with a headframe enclosure. The original headframe was replaced by a modern construction which came into operation in 1966.

    • Ruins of the Morgenröther sorting house

      These quarry-stone ruins represent what remains of the former Morgenröth engine house, which was in use until approximately 1825. In 1872, the sorting house was converted into an ore storage building. This was demolished in 1925, leaving only the foundations visible today.

    • Cultural centre

      The cultural centre is the newest building of the Sauberg main and pilot shaft complex, as well as the building with the largest surface area. It was constructed in 1955. The entrance and the stairwell above it slightly jut out from the rest of the building. The stairwell windows are large and are matched by glass doors in the same style on the ground floor. This front part of the building is made of unplastered brick masonry. The windowsills and door frames are red. There are two further notable elements to the cultural centre. Firstly, there is a mural of a mining scene which covers the entire wall opposite the entrance on the ground floor. The second notable feature is found on the upper floor: an event hall which has been preserved in its original state. The hall’s furnishings reflect its original 1950s character. Solar panels have been added to the south-east side of the roof of the cultural centre. When the building was renovated, the roof was tiled with black slate.

    • Forge and metalworking shop

      This building now houses the museum for the visitors’ mine and the Sauberg Klause café. It was built as a metalworking shop or forge in 1916 and was later used as a storage and administrative building. The single-storey building has a row of evenly-spaced windows of two different types on the side facing the street, as well as an entryway fronted by stairs. On the south side of the building is an entrance with a wooden double door surrounded by wooden cladding. The hipped roof of the building features four roofed dormers and a shed dormer on the street-facing side. 

    • Oswald Barthel Tower miners’ memorial

      The miners’ memorial is a tower-like structure. It was newly erected by the miners’ burial association in 2003 using quarry-stone building techniques. The memorial recreates the Oswald Barthel Tower, which stood on the grounds from 1928 until 1985. Inside the tower are plaques bearing the names of miners from the Ehrenfriedersdorf mining district who met with fatal accidents in the course of their work.

  • Underhand stoping

    Underhand stoping is a method of extraction starting at the surface and continuing downwards. It is the oldest extraction technique for mining seams of ore. The underhand stopes at Ehrenfriedersdorf focus on the seams known as the Einigkeit (or Unity) seam and the Leimgrüben seam. The seams run almost parallel to one another from north to south. To the east of these stopes is the Prinzler underhand stope. The Einigkeit stope has been made partially accessible to visitors and the coe has been reconstructed. The stopes have been backfilled using spoil from mining activities.

  • Pipe Trench

    The pipe trench, which provided water to stamp mills, washing works and tin smelteries in Ehrenfriedersdorf, was constructed in the second half of the 14th century. This makes it one of the oldest man-made ditches in the Erzgebirge mining region. In the 19th century, the man-made ditch provided water for the local textile industry. The pipe trench provided water for tin processing until the cessation of mining in Ehrenfriedersdorf in 1990, making it one of Germany’s oldest man-made ditches still in operation. The pipe trench was repaired between 1999 and 2002.

  • Tin placer deposits in the Greifenbach Valley

    In the 13th century, the mining of tin placer deposits dominated the Ehrenfriedersdorf mining area. As a result of the mining activity in this first period of mining history, in around 1230 a mining settlement arose near the Sauberg mountain next to an already-present farming settlement. Towards the end of the 13th century, tin placer mining came to a gradual standstill. The heaps of sand and gravel, the waste rock which resulted from placer mining, remain as 13th- and 14th-century witnesses to this original mining activity in the Greifenbach valley.