The Mining Museum
The Mining Museum

The Mining Museum Plan

History of PlanHistory of Mining in PlanáDigging for Uranium Ore
Šlik Mint in Planá

History of Mining in Planá

Silver, lead, copper, and bismuth mines in Plana have been known since preHussite times. In later chronicles silver mines below the Plana Castle and underneath the town are mentioned. Since 1584 St. Andrew Mine /St. Andreaszeche/ was in operation on Kromwitberg /northerly from Plana /, which was rich in argentit. Afterwards it was still at work in the years 17401759. In 1692 St. PaterandPaul Mine was still in operation in Schlanza /Schlanzefur/. It is situated at the end of Peter Suburb along the Pilsen Road on the slopes of Bonus Hill. It was closed in 1695.

From 1589 we have known the St.Mariahilf Mine / Sv.Marie Pomocná/ that was concidered vitriolic, i.e. a mine where pyrite is gained. It was also at work in 1689 and in 1694. Up to the last century there was a sample of galanite enclosed in the wall above the door of house Nr. 12, and there is a legend saying that this is the place, where the mouth of the shaft used to be, which that sample comes from. Old mining works sunk during the construction of Medvědí dvůr / "Bear Estate" a building in the neighbourhood of former mint in lower square /. A noted old mining region is to be found among the localities Chodová Planá, Dolní Kramolín, Boněnov, Michalovy Hory, Výškov. As early as in the 13th century, silver, copper, lead, cobalt, and nickel were mined for. For the first time the mines were mentioned in 1437 when permission was granted by the Šlik counts. According to the way of loans Earl Šlik possessed a mine with a deep shaft in Lazurberg. in 1542. At that time it was the only locality in Bohemia where cobalt and nickel ore were dug for. Cobalt ore was used for blue dyes. A revival of silver gaining began in 1580, when Jiří Huber and Kryštof Stubendorer dug a new shaft Fortune and Happiness. According to records this mine was the richest one in the whole region. At the same time the digging of a deep hereditary shaft was begun from Dolní Kramolín, called Austrian House. This shaft reached a depth of ca. 3 km. Before this shaft was finished, the mine was drained through Kaiser Zikmund shaft. Silver mining reached its boom in the beginning of 17th century. In 1602 further mines are in operation: St. Barbara, Young Saxons, St. Elisaabeth /Alžbeta/, Holy Trinity, and Kaiser Zikmund shaft. Additional mines acceded by 1609: St. George /Sv. Jiří/, Gods Blessing /Boží požehnání/ , St. James /Sv. Jakub/, and others. At the same time the St. Anna Mine at Pavlovice was dug. Fifty two mining works are registered at work in 1623. In 1623 the Šliks again began to exploit the mine Fortune and Happiness.

It was necessary to finance the work for six years, the output was profitable only in the following years: 1629 and 1633, 1641, 1644, 1650, and 1651.

After 1663 the work in the mine was entirely stopped. In 1670 Marie Maxmiliana Sinzendorf launches mining again, but the mine was not profitable. In 1675 she abandoned exploiting the mine. Mining was experimented several times at the end of 17th century, nevertheless, mostly unsuccessfully. In the twenties of 18th century the hereditary shaft "Austrian House" with the Fortune and Happiness Mine was set in operation. At the same time a new pit was cut in 1721, which was called "New Fortune and Happiness" and reached the depth of app. 130m. In 1730 29 sections in operation are registared in the region of Michalovy Hory.

In 1838 four sections at work are mentioned. In addition to that, cobalt and antimony were explioted at Boněnov and copper in the Wolfram Mine. During the 80s of 19th century mining in the district was gradually closed. The company Glück auf AG from Curich attempted to reestablish the work in mines in 1910. Mining continued up to 1916 and is said to have been rich . A number of other mines were in operation at that time: Jan Křtitel /Baptist John/, Barbora, and Jakub /James/ in Michalovy Hory /lead, silver/, Sv. Michal /Ni/, Alois Mine in Výškov /Pb, Ag/, Boží Požehnání /Gods Blessing / and Coelestin /bismuth/ in Boněnov. Another trial to reestablish mining was sinking a new mine, called New Pit, in 1911 1923 by the company DeutschBöhmisch Erzbergbau AG. In 1935 the output was found unprofitable and the mine was closed.

Another significant silver district was the region of Smrkovec and Horní Lazy. The first veins were revealed by the Count of Šlik in 1545 /MariaHilf Gallery/. After the battle on Bílá Hora the mines "were declining and closed already a year later, in 1848. The last attempt to gain silver in this district was cutting a shaft on the left bank of Podleský potok /brook/ in 1853. The following galleries dug in lodes for silver and bismuth: Jan /JohanniStollet / in the western part of the district, lower shaft Marie Pomocná /Untere MariaHilf Stollen/ in the valley of Podlesky Brook, upper shaft Marie Pomocná with several galleries going up to the surface, Anna Gallery with a length of 120m and with a 10m long shaft, Vicar Prössl gallery a 150m distant from AnnaGallery, and a newer shaft on the left bank of the brook.

The mining district in the region of Tři Sekery is related to the mining in the region of Planá and Michalovy Hory as well. Especially copper ore was mined there, as well as lead, silver and cobalt ores, for a long time. First references come from 1536, when the mines were broken up by Kašpar Pflug and were in operation till 1736. Mining was renewed in 1836. Two shafts were broken, one at the so called Stollmuhe /Na Štole/ east from the village of Tři Sekery, another one on the western hill side, where the village stands. Names of the old mines :Antonín /Anton/, Anežka /Agnes/, and Jan Nepomucký /Johann Nep. Bleizeche/. It was dug for cobalt and silver as late as the 19th century. The mines Eliáš / Elias Kupferzeche / and Sv. Štěpán /St. Stephani / were renewed. In 1885 the district of St. Vitus /Sv. Vít /Sankt Viti Zeche/ was at work, located beyond the glass works Habermühle. Copper ore was dug for in the 16th century. During the work in 1916, 1923 uranium ore was found. North from the community Tři Sekery copper ore was mined at New Metternich. It was also mined east of Stockzeche and west of the northern end of the village in Bärenzeche. Near the community of Broumov gold and lead ores were gained. New mining activities are registered in 1855. It was washed for gold in two little brooks near Barenloh and at Slatina. In the Goldschachterl woods rests of gold washing can be seen on eastern slopes of the Dyleň ridge. According to Sternberg gold washing localities extend from Dyleň up to Kyselecký Hamr /a lonely house, east of Mýtiny/, where a complex of scraps evokes a memory of former gold-washing localities.

Josef Ansl, 2003