History of the Ore Mountains

The zone of Ore Mountains was written down on the oldest maps of Europe. Today´s name of these mountains probably arised in 16th century, when we met with using name Erzgebirge (in czech - Krušné hory) in the cronic of Petr Albin.

For a long time the zone of Ore Mountains was settled only irregulary. Between 13th and 15th century the mining wasn’t too extended in this region. The richness of nature source of this region was in the center of strategy interest of near states.

Ruin of castle on Andělská hora

The important bussiness ways leaded over the Ore Mountains and connected Czech regions with other states. These ways were protected with a systeme of guards castles. The church orders began with building of their own closter in 12th century. During the time of Hussites wars the strong antihussites coalition arised in leadership with duke Fridrich Saský. The members of this coalition were for example Miluláš z Lobkovic, Hlaváč z Dubé or Zikmund Děčínský. And so the hussite towns Cheb and Ústí nad Labem haven´t easy situation.

After the battle of Lipany the advancement of clan of Šliks began in territory of Ore Mountains, when Kašpar Šlik obtained estate of Loket and from here he progressly controled near territory (in 1437 whole Loket´s region, later Bečov, Bochov and Nejdek´s rule, Andělská Hora and Ostrov). The closter in Teplá, lords from Vřesov, lords from Plavno and Pluhs from Rabštejn belonged to other feudal lords in this time.

In second half of 15th century the big development of mining activity started, mainly in exploitation of silver and tin.

In 16th century the Šliks authorized of govern over the exploitation of silver in Jáchymov and local mint. Their rule estated also towns Sokolov, Jindřichovice, Karlovy Vary, Hroznětín and some centres of exploitation. Šliks became one of the ritchest clans in Czech.

In 20th years of 16th century the silver tollar was universaly recognizing medium of payment, which was coinaged in the castle Freudenstein in Jáchymov.

The oldest Jáchymov´s tolar

In 1515 five richest bussinessmen put together under the leadership of Štěpán Šlik, Jan Pflug from Rabštejn and they established the company for mine a silver - one of the largest exploitationing factories in Europe. Jáchymov was suddenly rich town – like Prague or Kutná Hora.

The strong authorizing of Šliks and Pluhs from Rabštejn provoked Habsburk´s rulers, who endeavoured to destroy their powerful position. During the Schmalkald´s war the Šliks and Pluhs from Rabštejn acceded to a side of antihabsburk´s coalition and after the forfeiting this war in 1547 the emperor Ferdinand I. seizured their possessions.

The exploitation of silver and tin finished in 16th century. New important branches were manufacture of bobbinlaces, beads, buttons or manufacture of linen. In the west part of Ore mountains was developed manufacture of music instruments mainly in Luby and Kraslice.

The new development of exploitation started with discovery of smolinec, which contains radium. Until 1st World War Jáchymov had a monopol possition in production of radium.

In Ore mountains there were several meaningful battles too. For example in the battle by Lovosice during Seven years war in 1756 the Prussian king Fridrich II. defeated an Austrian general Brown.

Monument to 100th anniversary of battle of Chlumec

In 1812 in Přestanov by Chlumec the blood battle began between French forces with general Vandamme and Austrian an Russian armies together with Prussian forces. French forces forfeited and general Vandamme took a prisoner. The memorials of all winning forces were exposed to celebration of conquest in this place.

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