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Districts Blauenthal, Wolgsgrün and Neidhardtsthal

District Blauenthal

 

The incorporation of Blauenthal goes back hundreds of years and is closely linked to the abundance of water in this place. In the 15th century there was a water-powered flour mill as well as a saw mill where the Mulde and Bockau rivers joined. In 1518 Andreas Blau came from Nuremberg to Erzgebirge. The sheet metal producer and dealer later bought the flour mill and re-built it as an important hammer mill for the production of black and white sheet metal (black sheet metal = iron, white sheet metal = tin-coated iron). This Andreas Blau laid the foundation for the development of the town named after him (formerly called lower Blauenthal, while the village situated upstream was called the upper Blauenthal which is now Wolfsgrün).

Along with his brother, Balthasar, Andreas Blau maintained a trade office in Schneeberg for tin and other metals. In 1537 he founded the “New Company of the Sheet Metal Trade” in Zwickau. Later a blast furnace, a bar hammer, and an iron foundry was built, as well as a brewery and an inn. By 1840, high-quality white sheets were still being produced, until the hammer mill folded up.

Around 1880 the "Hammergut" estate with all of its vast property of forest and meadows came into the possession of the Toelle family. After World War II this family was dispossessed and fled to escape from the Soviet occupation zone. After 1989, the family then returned to Blauenthal.

The only building that remains standing from the old hammer mill is the elegant "Hammerherrenhaus”: a two-story baroque manor with a huge hipped roof.  In the middle of the ridge is a square clock tower with a baroque dome. The early baroque main portal has a capstone, engraved with the year 1677.

The Blauenthal waterfall is on the outskirts, which is the largest waterfall in Saxony. It is fed by a man-made canal that was built around 100 years ago, for the purpose of bringing water to operate a pulp mill. The water plunges 30 meters down over the rocks. In winter the bizarre ice formations on the waterfall attract ice climbers.

 

 
District Wolfsgrün

 

Wolfsgrün is situated at an altitude of around 480 m asl in the valley of the Zwickauer Mulde River, on the former railway line: Chemnitz-Aue-Adorf.

The founding of this place dates back, like Blauenthal, to Andreas Blau, who built a hammer mill here in 1536. It was at that time often referred to as the hammer mill in upper Blauenthal, and later shortened to “The Red Hammer”. In 1730 the hammer mill consisted of a blast furnace, two refineries and sheet-metal refineries, a tinplate/whitesmith workshop, a flour and saw mill, a brewery, a tavern, a small forge, coal buildings, ore stamp mills and the residential houses, a “Herrenhaus” (baroque mansion), gardens, stables and ponds. The old “Hammerherrenhaus” manor in the center of the village still attests to that prosperous time in history.

The convenient location in this valley, with plenty of water, was also decisive in the following period of the development of Wolfsgrün. In 1829, Christian Gottlieb Bretschneider founded the Bretschneider pulp mill and paper factory in this place. In the facilities of this same traditional company, paper or cardboard products are still being produced.

In a small park on a hill, the little “Wolfsgrün Castle” towers above the town. The building, which was built in 1904, was the former home of the industrialist Bretschneider family.

 

District Neidhardtsthal

 

The village Neidhardtsthal is situated in the valley of the Zwickauer Mulde River at the foot of the 57 m high Eibenstock Dam. As in the case of Blauenthal and Wolfsgrün, the foundation and development of this place was closely associated with the use of water power.

The small village emerged from a “Schwefelhütte”, (a foundry to produce sulphur and vitriolic acid). In 1612 the “Kurfürst of Saxony” (elector) finally gave the owner of this foundry the privilege to build an “Eisenhammer” (a hammer mill operated by water power). Already in 1614 the hammer mill was built and the first metal sheets were produced. In 1819 there were a blast furnace, two bar refineries, two sheet-metal refineries, and a tinplate/whitesmith workshop, as well as a “Zinnhaus Zainhammer”. Also, there was the “Hammerherrenhaus” baroque mansion and 19 other houses with approx. 140 residents.

From different vantage points above the village (e.g. On the road to Hundshübel) you can have a spectacular view of the dam and part of the dam lake that was built from 1974 to 1987, which is the largest drinking water reservoir in Saxony. In addition to supplying the whole area of Chemnitz and Zwickau with drinking water, the dam is used for flood protection, for saving water during low rainfall periods and also, to a certain extent, for hydropower.

Until the construction of the Eibenstock Dam, Neidhardtsthal had a railway connection to the railway line Chemnitz-Aue-Adorf. The last train run took place in October 1975.

 

 

The water-village Blauenthal, along with Wolfsgrün and Neidhardtsthal, were incorporated to Eibenstock on 01.01.1994.