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Hiking trail with displays on mining

Bergmänner am Bergbaulehrpfad

Among the prominent hills surrounding the valley of Aue is the Heidelsberg (511,7 m). From the terrace of the restaurant Parkwarte at the top of this mountain as well as from the Casslerplatz at a lower level, a wonderful vista on the valley of Aue and large parts of the city opens to the visitor. The Heidelsberg was first documented in 1526 in connection with the formerly important "Hammer of Aue", an iron mill situated at the river mulde.

In 1661 the Saxon head forester and serf hunter Georg Friedrich Rachals from Lauter had a tunnel built for the storage of beer at the foot of the mountain. During the construction of the tunnel, a tin-bearing ore was found, indicating a deposit worth mining.
As a result, miners from all over the region began settling at the foot of the Heidelsberg and soon a multitude mining equipment set the tone of the massif. In consequence a Huthaus (house were the miners changed their clothes) was built in 1663. This building is now the front part of the city museum of Aue. Tin used to be mined at the Heidelsberg in more than 200 tunnels and shafts. Also, pounding mills and tin melting stations were in operation.

Tin mining was terminated in the first half of the 19th century. Miners also found kaolin at the Heidelsberg in 1698. Using kaolin from Aue, which is a particularily pure argillaceous earth, J. F. Böttger was the first to produce white porcelain in Europe. From 1711 to 1855 kaolin was delivered from the "Weisse Erdenzeche" (white pit) St. Andreas at the Heidelsberg to the porcelain manufacturer in Meissen. According to the mandate of the elector the kaolin from Aue was only to be delivered to Meissen. Any violations of this regulation were severely punished.

Starting at the city museum, the hiking trail with displays on mining leads through the former mining landscape to the Huthaus of "Weisse Erdenzeche" St. Andreas. Show and information boards as well as old mining equipment teach the visitors many interesting facts worth knowing about the mining industry from the 17th to the 19th century. In addition to that, hiking this trail is also an impressive experience for lovers of nature and wildlife.

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