Hora Svaté Kateřiny
All year Sat, Sun 10-16.
Adults CZK 60, Children (6-15) CZK 50.
|Classification:||Silver Mine Copper Mine|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Address:||Město Hora Svaté Kateřiny, Dlouhá 261, 435 46 Hora Svaté Kateřiny, Tel: 476-113-157, Cell: 731-871-920.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1473||estate bought by Lorenz Glatz of Altenhorf, who began to apply mining experience.|
|02-FEB-1528||Emperor Ferdinand I grants the right, to establish a city at his copper mines to Sebastian von Weitmühl, the Lord of Chomutov.|
|16th to 18th cty||silver and copper mining.|
|1936||opened as a show mine.|
|1938||closed due to World War II.|
|1939-1945||air raid shelter.|
|1998||opened as a show mine.|
The Nicolai-Stollen is a mine tunnel at the town Hora Svaté Kateřiny. It is located only a few meters from the border to Germany. The German name is a result of the local history, the Czech name Mikulášská štola is just the translation. It is an important remain of the local copper and silver mining.
Emperor Ferdinand I granted the right, to establish a city at his copper mines to Sebastian von Weitmühl, the Lord of Chomutov. This was on February 2, 1528, and the city Hora Svaté Kateřiny (Mount St. Catherine) was built following an modern plan with rectangular roads. The city also became the rights for an own flag, a weekly market on Saturdays and an annual market lasting eight days during Pentecost. It had the right to establish guilds, for example butcher, brewery, shoemaking, tailoring, weaving and cooperage. There was the right for a salt market, for fishing, as long as a mine still exists, and the freedom for everyone to move to the town and become a craftsman. Quite a feat when farmers were actuall owned by their respective Lords. The owners changed after Sebastian, but the privileges remained for centuries. Only the tax exemption was restricted to ten years.
Hora Svaté Kateřiny (Mount St. Catherine) is located at 696 m asl in the Ore Mountains. The original name of the towen was Hallberg, probably from Kupferhall (copper salt), a result of the abundant copper ores. According to legend, it was renamed after St. Katharinaberg (also Katterberg) because a maid found silver ore while mowing the grass. St. Catherine was the patron saint of miners, so she was credited for the discovery. Another legend tells about a man from Saxony named Hans Georg. He found ore near Johann-Georgenstadt in Saxony, and the new founded city was named after him. Then he discovered another ore deposit and named the new mining town Annaberg, after his sister Anna. And his third sister was named Katharina, and when he began successful mining at the town Hallberg he renamed it Katharinaberg.
Copper and silver was mined here already in pre-Hussite times. The estate was bought by Lorenz Glatz of Altenhorf in 1473, who began to apply mining experience from Krupka, where he came from. The result was a boost in mining. In 1605 Emperor Rudolf II sold the estate to Adam Hrzan of Harras. This family oppressed their subjects for a century until they finally sold it in 1707. The plague and the Thirty Years War followed, mining was severely disrupted. Then the wars of Silesia and the Seven Years' War followed. And in 1786 mining was stopped and most inhabitants were forced to leave. There were attempts to revive mining in 1835 and 1900-1904, but failed.
The heyday of mining was short, and long ago. As a result there are only late Medieval mines, which were not destroyed by later mining activities. During the 16th and 17th centuries, silver, copper and lead were mined, also minor amounts of gold. The copper was the most important ore, because most other mines in the Ore Mountains lack copper.
The gallery of St. Nicholas was opened as a show mine in 1936 to increase the number of visitors to the city. During World War II it was transformed into an anti-aircraft shelter. Currently, the lower parts of the mine are flooded and 420 m of the adit are open as a tourist attraction. The show mine is operated by SpeleoGoethe. The show mine was lately closed for renovation and refurbishment. The city intends to open a Mining and Geological Museum in the tunnel. It seems works are still under way and there is no reopening date scheduled .