Schaubergwerk Frisch Glück Glöckl

Useful Information

Location: Wittigsthalstraße 15, 08349 Johanngeorgenstadt.
On the border with the Czech Republic, Potůčky.
(50.428525, 12.731529)
Open: All year Tue-Fri 9, 10:30, 12, 13:30, 15, Sat, Sun, Hol 10:30, 12, 13:30, 15.
Fee: Adults EUR 5, Children (5-16) EUR 3.60, Children (0-4) not allowed.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 4.20, Children (5-16) EUR 2.70.
Classification: MineSilver Mine MineCobalt Mine MineUranium Mine Bismut
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=8° C.
Guided tours: D=90 min, Min=5, MinAge=5. Audioguide: English Česky - Czech
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Johann Christian Engelschall (1723): Beschreibung Der Exulanten- und Bergstadt Johann Georgen Stadt, Friedrich Lanckischens Erben und Christoph Kircheisen, Leipzig 1723.
Frank Teller (2001): Bergbau und Bergstadt Johanngeorgenstadt, Förderverein Pferdegöpel Johanngeorgenstadt e.V., Johanngeorgenstadt 2001.
Address: Lehr- und Schaubergwerk Frisch Glück Glöckl, Wittigsthalstraße 13-15, D-08349 Johanngeorgenstadt, Tel: +49-3773-882140, Fax: +49-3773-881758. E-mail: contact
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.


15th century Mining of tin and iron ores in the region.
17th century Beginning of mining of the Johanngeorgenstadt ore deposit.
1654 Bergstadt (mining town) of Johanngeorgenstadt founded by Bohemian exiles as the last important mining town in the Saxon Ore Mountains.
1658 Silver ore found for the first time.
1671 Start of driving a gallery on the Frisch Glück Spat.
1682 First silver ore mined in the tunnel.
1696 Kunstgezeug (pumps), driven by an 8.5 m high Kunstrad (water wheel), put into operation.
1716 Largest yield of 2400 kg of silver in one year.
1720 Decline in silver production.
1784 Excavation of the 524 m asl level by the Freiberg chief mining commissioner Anton von Heynitz.
1792 Excavation of the 440 m asl level.
1810 Mine closed.
1829 Merger of the Frisch Glück and Neujahr mines.
09-APR-1838 Seven Fastenberg mines are united to form the Gewerkschaft Vereinigt Feld im Fastenberg, according to the plan of Freiherr von Herder, the Saxon chief miner.
1897 Introduction of blasting with dynamite.
1910 Water wheels replaced by electric motors.
1919 Air-powered hammer drills introduced.
06-JUL-1931 Severe flooding causes deeper levels to flood, mining temporarily suspended.
1945 Incorporated into WISMUT by order of the Soviet military administration.
1955 Mining declines abruptly.
1958 Mining in the area ends.
1974 Small parts of the mine are opened up as a technical exhibition.


The Johanngeorgenstadt deposit is a hydrothermal, polymetallic Gangerz (gangue) deposit. The deposit-bearing contact metamorphic rocks, such as andalusite mica schists and andalusite mica hornfels, have a strongly varying degree of metamorphism. At short distances, the range extends from metamorphic rocks to almost unaltered quartz phyllites. The Eibenstock granite rose from below, which is responsible for the metamorphism and was also the cause of the convection currents that formed the gangue mineralisation. Later, the metamorphic rock was eroded down to the granite, except in two fault zones where it sank into Eibenstock granite and was therefore largely spared from erosion. These are the Irrgänger Zug in the north-east and the Rehhübler Zug in the south-west, which together are known as the Johanngeorgenstädter Graben. The graben structure is 3 km to 4 km wide and 15 km long. The graben extends to a depth of 200 m to 350 m.

The actual deposits, the veins, form layers, lenses and knaws of varying thickness. They contain quartz, pyrrhothine and pyrite. The thickness of the veins varies greatly, on average they are 10 cm, in rare cases they reach 200 cm. The vein network of the deposit is very complicated.

The veins have several layers with different minerals. First of all, there are pegmatitic formations, which mainly contain cassiterite (tinstone) as an ore mineral. Sphalerite (zinc blende), little galena (galena, containing silver), chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite (arsenic pyrite) and pyrite occur as ore minerals. Then follow pneumatolytes with cassiterite and tourmaline ("schorl"). In addition, there are also quartz veins with haematite (red iron). They also contain barite, fluorite (fluorspar) and considerable amounts of uranium pitchblende.


The Frisch Glück Glöckl show mine is named after the mined gangue, the Frisch Glück Spat. The gallery was started in 1671 and the first silver ore was mined in 1682. The yield was very high, so that after only 4 years the entire Verlag (loan) could be paid back. Soon the mine developed into the richest in the town. From 1684 to 1730, ores with a pure silver content of 9,200 kg were mined. The greatest yield was in 1716 with 2,400 kg of silver in one year. As usual, one of the biggest problems was the mine water. Therefore, in 1696, the first Kunstgezeug (pumping plant) in the district, driven by an 8.5 m high Kunstrad (water wheel), was put into operation. But as early as 1720, the yield dropped again. Attempts to increase it again with deeper levels failed, as the silver content decreases with depth. Finally, mining ceased in 1810.

Johann Christoph Schlott was once the last to work on the drift; the other miners had finished early that day because of a funeral. Then he heard someone coughing from the direction of the shaft and thought that the pit foreman was making another inspection run. But when they finally collided, he noticed that it was a dwarf in a brown smock. This one held his pit lamp to the massive rock, and it got stuck there. The little man said to Schlott, "Is shift over already?" At this greeting, a shiver came over Schlott, and he fled without finding any other workers in the mine. When he told the other miners about this incident, they laughed at him. And yet they wanted to see the place. The lamp had disappeared, but there was a crack in the rock and a little digging immediately revealed ore. From this place, which the mountain spirit had indicated to the miner Schlott, there was still good ore for a long time.

The closed mine was later united with other mines, and finally in 1838 seven Fastenberg mines were united to form the Gewerkschaft Vereinigt Feld im Fastenberg. It was hoped that the concentration of operations would lead to more profitable mining of the deposit. The centrepiece of the new projects was the Frisch Glück shaft, which was thus reactivated. From 1839 to 1843, they drove a 170-metre-long adit, which today is the entrance to the training and exhibition mine. The concept was quite successful until 1870, when the introduction of the gold standard caused the price of silver to drop rapidly. This meant that the mine was no longer profitable, but nevertheless they mined other ores, especially bismuth ores and uranium ores. The price of bismuth rose 15-fold, but from 1820 to 1913 it was mainly 30 tonnes of uranium ores, mostly uranium pitchblende, that were mined.

However, the real mining boom started after 1945, after the operating department Vereinigt Feld am Fastenberg was annexed to the Soviet non-ferrous metal joint-stock company SDAG WISMUT by order of the Soviet military administration. Although Wismut (bismuth) was also mined here, this was a cover name; in fact, the main purpose was to mine uranium for an atomic bomb for the Soviet Union. In 1949, the USSR had its own atomic bomb, presumably built from Fastenberg uranium. Around 1950, 80,000 workers are counted. The town's population rises from 6,500 in 1945 to 42,000 after 1950. The old town is demolished to make way for mining. The Fastenberg mine supplies some 10,000 tonnes of uranium ore to the Soviet Union with a uranium content of about 3,500 tonnes. But mining declines sharply as early as 1955 and ceases in 1958.

While the mining facilities were demolished and destroyed, the badly damaged Kaue was reconstructed for other purposes as early as 1959. Small parts of the mine were opened up as a technical exhibition site in 1974, but it was not until after 1991 that things took a turn for the better, both state funding and sufficient visitor numbers were available, and in the 1990s many parts of the mine were rebuilt or renovated. Fundamental maintenance and extension work was carried out in 1995/96 with the help of state and federal funding of DM 970,000. Since August 2000, the Johanngeorgenstadt Mining Association has been the operator of the facility.