In 1440, when tin deposits in and around Altenberg were discovered, the people did not realise what an important impact this would have on the region. These ore deposits were the main source of employment for the local population for more than five centuries. The main deposit was known as one of the biggest in Central Europe. Miners moved to Altenberg and settled close to the shafts and mining works. With the discovery of the tin ore, a booming mining industry began and the little village received the rights and privileges of a town as early as 1451. For the first time in 1489 the town was called Altenberg.
Falling metal prices made the operations uneconomical and in 1991 the final closure brought 550 years of tin-mining to an end. However although mining has ceased, Altenberg has survived and is now a well-known place for sport and tourism.
© by Christina Schröder