Back in the day, the dream of finding a fortune turned the Erzgebirge into a booming region that drew vast numbers of people. And did their dreams come true? Visit the towns that sprang up back then, and see for yourself!
Elegant patrician homes, awe-inspiring churches, mighty castles, streets as straight as a die: even today, the well-kept town centres of Annaberg-Buchholz, Freiberg, Marienberg and Schneeberg radiate the wealth and pride of their former inhabitants and transport you to a time when everything here still revolved around mining. Not every settlement could claim the distinction of being a ‘mining town’. And this made those that were an extremely attractive prospect – after all, mining towns promised good incomes, prestige and certain freedoms that weren’t enjoyed elsewhere. Curious? Come and see our mining towns for yourself!
Stroll past historical façades and across expansive market squares – in Marienberg, for example, the oldest Renaissance ‘ideal town’ north of the Alps. Encounter stone relics from five different centuries, everywhere from places of worship to places of work – in Annaberg-Buchholz, for example, a town literally built on silver. Take in visitors’ mines, museums and sightseeing tours and immerse yourself in the lives of local miners, merchants, craftspeople and their families – in Schneeberg, for example, the quintessential Erzgebirge baroque town. Contemplate the deep piety and artistry of the people here – at Freiberg Cathedral, for example, with its unique artistic treasures. Elsewhere, it is the call of the mountains that dominates – both in the mines and the mining towns.
The US had a gold rush, and the Erzgebirge had a ‘Berggeschrey’. The legendary and fabulous riches that it was said could be found here drew thousands of people, first in the 12th century and then again in the 15th and 16th centuries. The hordes of new arrivals in the Erzgebirge needed places to live, so towns grew up around the pits. Between 1460 and 1560 alone, 31 new towns were founded or granted free mining town status ‒ 16 in Saxony and 15 in Bohemia. The largest of them became key centres for business, education and culture – today, we’d call them boom towns.
Experience and discover special places, indulge in Erzgebirge hospitality, and the experience of World Heritage.
Curious? Then book right away! Our hosts are already looking forward to welcoming you.
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