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Documentary evidence for the Markus Semmler Adit dates back to 1503. It was originally opened in order to mine copper ore near Oberschlema. Later, it serviced the bismuth, silver, cobalt, and nickel mines around Schneeberg. The new adit mouth was built in the 19th century; the keystone gives the year of construction as 1841. By the end of the 19th century, the adit was roughly 43 kilometres long. During the latter half of the 20th century, the adit was the first major exploratory level used by SAG/SDAG Wismut in the search for uranium and provided a benchmark for all deeper excavations. From 1946 onwards, a further 174 kilometres of mine workings were cut at roughly the level of the Markus Semmler adit. The adit continues to drain water from the entire Schlema, Schneeberg, and Schneeberg-Neustädtel mining district today.