"Mining Traditions" Schneeberg Things to Do Tip by Kathrin_E
Schneeberg Things to Do: 11 reviews and 42 photos
Schneeberg was founded in 1471 during the big "silver rush" in the Ore Mountains. The ressources of silver that were found here were among the richest in the whole of Germany. The annual miners parade on July 22 commemorates the Bergstreit in 1496/98 when miners went on strike and fought for better wages.
Mining traditions are valued high and their traces show everywhere in town, figures of miners on the houses, the crossed hammers as illuminated ornaments in the streets, and of course the folcloristic woodcarvings. There is a lot of romanticisation in that, though. Working in the mines has always been tough labour, and highly dangerous.
In the run of the 16th century the focus of mining shifted to cobalt and bismuth. Cobalt was the base of blue pigments for paint, for example the blue patterns of Meißen China.
From 1946-1958 uran ore was mined in the area that went into the production of the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons.
In medicine, Schneeberg gained some (negative) fame for the "Schneeberg disease", a kind of lung cancer common among miners which was caused by inhaling radioactive radon.
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