Pinge - the most famous landmark in Altenberg
A huge hole called "Pinge" is the most famous landmark in Altenberg. It is situated close to the center of the town and can be seen from a far.
One Sunday night in 1620 a loud noise like thunder woke up all the people of the town as the underground excavations collapsed, creating the "Pinge".
At that time the mining techniques used fire to heat up the rock to make them crack.

This process left many caves, however these cave like excavations were not planned properly. The small pillars between the caves were unable to carry the weight from above and sometimes failed leaving behind a hole on the surface. The "Pinge" originally had a surface area of about 2 acres. As mining continued the hole also grew.

Today the "Pinge" has a diameter of about 400 meters.

From a visitors platform at the edge of the "Pinge" you are able to see into the 150 meter deep hole.
If you follow the marked mining trail around the town you can see several historic sites like
an old dynamite house from 1793 and enclosed shafts from the middle of the 20th century.
© by Christina Schröder