There’s a lot to discover in Freiberg – even if one or the other of the town’s treasures doesn’t reveal itself at first glance. This is because these hidden gems are generally found underground.
Unique historical testimony to energy generation from hydropower for ore mining is provided by the wooden stamp mill wheel at the Turmhof pit, which was built 175 years ago with a diameter of 9.72 m in a wheel room with walls of quarried stone. The Turmhof shaft was sunk during the intensification of silver mining in Freiberg between 1842 and 1857, with the stamp mill and jig washer being started up in 1846. After the decommissioning of the Turmhof shaft in 1889, the stamp mill became defunct and was abandoned to disrepair. As, however, the wheel was still wetted with sufficient dripping water and presumably uncontrolled inflowing water, the stamp mill wheel remained largely functional, and following its rediscovery in the 1950s, it was preserved in its almost complete original state.
Now integrated in the inventory of the research and teaching mine of Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, the wheel room with the stamp mill wheel can be accessed directly from the also preserved former building for the jigger washer, alongside an exhibition displaying a model of the entire historical pit operations.
Want to see for yourself? Guided tours can be arranged at or by ringing tel. 0049 (0)3731/1600.