The “Alte Elisabeth” (“Old Elisabeth“) mine is Saxony’s oldest mining museum (Bergbaumuseum). It was handed over to the Freiberg Mining Academy (Bergakademie Freiberg) for teaching purposes in 1919. Since 2019 it has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ore Mountain Mining Region.
The Alte Elisabeth is part of the Himmelsgrube Treasure Trove northeast of the centre of Freiberg. Silver mining here dates back to 1168. Ore mining began in the Middle Ages, initially in several independent mines. Over the centuries, 330 mines mentioned by name have been assigned to the “Himmelsgrube Fundgrube”. Particularly in the 16th century, the “Sanct Elisabeth” mine was one of the most profitable Freiberg mines and delivered 3.7 tons of silver between 1525 and 1673.
Mining Museum Alte Elisabeth
The current buildings date from the early 19th century. They include an original prayer room (left), a vault, the Treibhaus with roof riders for ventilation (middle) and the brick engine house on the right with steam boiler and hoisting engine. On display here is the Schwarzenberg-Gebläse, historically important for German mechanical engineering, which was designed in neo-Gothic industrial form and constructed by Christian Friedrich Brendel for the Antonshütte. Further information and pictures of the “Alte Elli” can be found at unbekannter-bergbau.de
This front view of the “Alte Elisabeth” is a contribution to the Saxon Year of Industrial Culture 2020.