The area around Krupka (Graupen) has been profoundly shaped by tin ore mining over a period of at least 800 years. Streaming was probably used to extract tin here from as early as the Bronze Age. From the 13th century at the latest, tin ore was mined, but copper and later tungsten, bismuth and molybdenum ores were also extracted, along with common feldspar and fluorite. As the oldest tin district in the Erzgebirge, Krupka has greatly influenced the science of mining tin deposits. This knowledge was applied in Krupka and in other districts on both the Bohemian and the Saxon sides of the mountains.

The Starý Martin adit is a first-class mining monument that has the longest tin lode in central Europe with a strike of 2 km. Many further important remains of above-ground and below-ground mining from the 13th to the 20th century can be found in the mining districts Knötel, Preisselberg and Komáří hůrka (Mückenberg). The growth of the mining town Krupka is closely connected to mining. Particularly striking is Krupka Castle, a 14th-century building. Other buildings of great importance are the Gothic Church of the Assumption of Mary with its late Gothic bell tower, the Church of the Holy Spirit, the Church of St. Anna, preserved in the Renaissance style, and historical town houses.

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  • Krupka Historic Old Town

    The mining town of Krupka was founded before 1330. It is closely connected to the mining of tin ore in the area. The medieval plan of the town accommodates the topographical characteristics of the site and has been completely retained to this day. Krupka Castle towers over the town. The castle dates back to the early 14th century and was originally a defensive feudal fortification, later serving as the mining authority for the Graupen mining district. They heyday of Krupka was in the second half of the 15th century, when tin ore mining flourished in the region. A large number of Gothic buildings in the town date back to this period, such as the Heiliggeistkirche, or Church of the Holy Spirit (1454) and the Minorite monastery (1474). Most notably, however, the renovation of the older Maria Himmelfahrt (Assumption of Mary) Church (1479–1488), with its unmistakable late-Gothic bell tower, took place during this period.

  • Steinknochen mining landscape

    The most historically significant area of the Graupen mining district lies north of the town of Krupka below Komáří hůrka mountain. More than 150 tin mines operated here from the medieval period through to the late 18th or early 19th century. The number and density of the mines is unusual both for the Erzgebirge and for Europe. The landscape is shaped by dozens of collapsed shafts and adit mouths, as well as by various heaps ranging from small raised mounds to large, flat heap structures. These are easily visible on old maps or images created using modern laser scanning techniques. The distance between the heaps roughly matches the old mine measurements dictated by the 1487 Graupen mining code: either 36 x 36 metres or 72 x 36 metres.

  • Knötel mining landscape

    Beneath the line of the Komáří hůrka cable car lies the Knötel mining landscape. This area was the largest ore field in the Graupen region. Today, it is filled with relics from the area’s mining history from the 14th to the 20th century—and the history of tin mining in particular. As early as the 14th century, numerous small mines close to the surface could be found throughout the area, which have since left behind adits, shafts, and heaps from different periods. From the 17th to the 19th century, more mines and adits were opened throughout the district, including the Jacobs Fart (Jacob’s Ladder) mine and the Siebenschläfer (Seven Sleepers) adit. The larger heaps dating from the end of this mining period indicate that the adits and mines were excavated more deeply at this time. During and immediately after the Second World War, new adits (named Prokop, Barbora and Václav) were built for the extraction of molybdenite and potash feldspar. Mining ended in 1956.

  • Sink-hole Komáří hůrka

    The largest above-ground relic of tin extraction in the Graupen district is the Große Pinge (“Big Sink-hole”), just below the summit of the Komáří hůrka (808 metres above sea-level). Records concerning underground mining at this location go back to 1416. The sink-hole developed as the result of the excavation of a 140 x 45 metre greisen deposit primarily containing tin and copper ores. At roughly 75 metres deep, the depression – covering approximately 5,000 square metres – was formed by the collapse of the underlying excavated chambers. Dürrholz adit, the most important adit in the district, has drained water from the area since the end of the 15th century. Surrounding the sink-hole were a series of other mines, including the Glatz mine. With the help of a whim shaft, tin and copper ore were extracted from a depth of up to 200 metres from the 1680s onwards.