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In the town Weißenstadt, at the rim of the Fichtelgebirge the socalled Kristallgänge (crystal tunnels) are located. This are former gemstone mines, where semiprecious gems, rock crystals were mined. Long ago the Markgrafen (margraves) of Bayreuth knew about the crystals, which are hidden below the town. The most beautiful pieces were selected to be used for the decoration of the pleasure palace Eremitage in St. Johannis, a suburb of Bayreuth. They were used for the pillars of the Sonnentempel (sun temple) and the Grotto. Even for the most famous Bavarian King, Ludwig II., rock crystals were mined. Later the tunnels were used as cellars.
Weißenstadt was the center of an area rich in valuable deposits, during the Middle Ages.