Foto: Stadt Marienberg/ 360 Grad Team •
Tourismusverband Erzgebirge e.V.
Adam-Ries-Straße 16
09456 Annaberg-Buchholz

World Heritage Site, the Ore Mountains

An attitude to life is world heritage!

In July 2019, the World Heritage Committee decided about the inclusion of the Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří mining cultural landscape on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The importance of the future World Heritage Site derives from its unique combination of 17 German and five Czech component parts. It illustrates the region's mining heritage and legacy - and is representative of many other mining communities.

The Erzgebirge is an outstanding and truly unique example of a cross-border region that was profoundly and irrevocably shaped by 800 years of almost continuous metal mining (from the 12th to the 20th century). Its rich deposits, predominantly of silver, but also of tin, cobalt and uranium, forged the character of the Erzgebirge and paved the way for pioneering accomplishments that had a lasting impact on the development of other mining regions across the globe.

Mining brought with it many new inventions that stood the test of time: the Ehrenfriedersdorfer Kunstgezeug water-pumping system (1540), the Nasspochwerke stamp mill (1507) and the large-scale water management system that supplied mines with motive water (from 1558). Its global reach was further consolidated by the outstanding writing that emerged from the region. This includes the first printed book on mining by Ulrich Rülein von Calw (1505), "De re metallica" and other writings by Georgius Agricola, and the book "Sylvicultura oeconomica oder haußwirthliche Nachricht und Naturmäßige Anweisung zur wilden Baum-Zucht" (News and Instructions for the Natural Growing of Wild Trees) by Hans Carl von Carlowitz, who was also considered the father of sustainable forestry. Mining in the Erzgebirge was under government supervision, and impacted on all areas of society, with early mining regulations playing a decisive role here.

The first mining code was drawn up in Freiberg in 1300. The Annaberg mining code followed in 1509, and formed the basis for large parts of mining law. Mining codes provided for a manorial mining administration, which safeguarded miners' civil rights and decided on key economic and technical matters. In 1520, silver Thaler coins were minted in Jáchymov for the first time, and these remained the blueprint for many European countries' monetary systems for several centuries. They are now considered to be a precursor to the dollar. Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, founded in 1765, and the oldest mining education institution in the world, remains a leading training provider for the mining sector.

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The 22 Components of the Montan region Ore Mountains/Krušnohoří

In total, the nomination consists of 22 components: 17 on the German side and 5 on the Czech side. The selected monuments, natural and cultural landscapes represent in their entirety the most important mining areas and epochs of Saxon-Bohemian ore mining. Each component consists of various individual objects and landscapes (more than 400 on the Saxon side alone!).

In addition to above-ground and underground witnesses of the mining industry, historical urban and mining landscapes, e.g. slag heaps, were also taken into account. They illustrate the region's mining heritage and legacy - and is representative of many other mining communities.

The significance of the future World Heritage Site in terms of UNESCO can only be established in the combination of all 22 components.

In order to contribute to a comprehensive communication of the mining heritage of the region, additional sites were defined as "associated objects" of the World Heritage.

17 German components

5 Czech components

Experience the World Heritage site
































Foto: Thomas Jäger, Berggrabebrüderschaft Ehrenfriedersdorf e. V.

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Experience Mining


The world heritage site of the mining region Ore Mountains/Krušnohoří with more than 400 individual objects on the Saxon and Czech site, is representative of the many witnesses of the mining heritage of the region. Numerous visitor mines invite young and old to explore the Ore Mountains underground.

Below ground hammer mills, smelting huts and mining towns tell the impressive history of the region. Mining has also unmistakably shaped the nature of the Erzgebirge. If you like going on a discovery tour, you will walk along the ridge through the woods and marvel at the witnesses of the mining industry along the way.

Foto: Schloss Lauenstein
Foto. TVE Rene Gaens

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