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Mining Towns and Villages


The region between Boží Dar and Potůčky in the Krušné hory / Erzgebirge Mts. belonged in the 15th and 16th century alternately to Bohemia and Saxony. Until 1459 it held the King George of Podebrady, but then fell Saxon Dukes. After the victory of Catholics over Protestants in the Schmalkalden War in 1546, Ferdinand I of Habsburg joined him again to the Bohemian Kingdom. Rýžovna (formerly known in German as Seifen, in Czech Sejfy) was established on the grounds of a secluded mining locality, which was founded at the start of the 16th century near high grade tin placers.

Medieval tin placers

The grains of tin ore were obtained by washing gravelly alluvial deposits. They got there from primary deposits bound to granite intrusions. Later on, prospectors turned their focus to silver-bearing veins and, at their location, established the Štěstí s Radostí (Glück mit Freude) mine and the Boží požehnání (Segen Gottes) mine. Cobalt and bismuth were mined along with silver. This area also produced 1.4 tons of uranium in 1946–1959. Rýžovna had more than four hundred inhabitants as well as a school, a church and 70 houses until World War II. Except for a few buildings, the village was levelled after the post-war resettlement of its inhabitants. Today, Rýžovna falls under the town of Boží Dar administratively.

Seifen in 1927

The main rocks of the surroundings are phyllites, originally sediments of the Cambrian-Ordovician Ocean, which metamorphosed during the orogenic processes. During the folding, the crystalline rocks were intruded by granite magma, which formed the extensive body of the Krušné hory (Erzgebirge) Pluton 300 million years ago. After the denudation of overlying rocks lasting hundreds of millions of years, the pluton was exposed in several places at the Earth’s surface, where it formes granite massifs. One of these is also the so-called Blatná Massif located between Hřebečná, Horní Blatná and Pila. Basalt rocks, which are far younger, formed during volcanic activity in the Tertiary 35–17 million years ago and form visible terrain elevations (Božídarský Špičák Mt., Plešivec Mt. and others). The ridge between Ryžovna and Hřebečná is also composed of basalt. It is well exposed in the stone quarry, where perfectly developed columnar jointing occurs.

The Hřebečná-Rýžovna quarry

GPS position

N 50° 24.375', E 12° 50.229'