Ore Extraction and Mining in the Environs of Sterzing, at Schneeberg in Ridnaun and in Pfitschtal, Southern Wipptal (South Tyrol)
From the Origins to the Early Modern Age
The pits at Gossensass, Pflersch and Schneeberg in the inner Ridnaun valley formed the centre of mining activities in the district of the former Gossensass-Sterzing mining court. The latter was located in the southern Wipp valley in South Tyrol, the court's seat being initially in Gossensass and then in the late 15th century at Sterzing. In the surroundings of Sterzing, numerous mines were set up in the course of the 15th and 16th centuries, but they are seldom mentioned in documents. They were probably of a modest size and will first be looked at in the essay. The situation is different for the extensive Schneeberg mines in the inner Ridnaun valley. When the mining operations were shut down in the late 1980s and the site was converted into a museum, the history of Schneeberg mining was extensively researched and documented. The essay deals with this in outline. Finally, it focuses on pits and tunnels in the Pfitsch valley. The register of the Gossensass-Sterzing mining court mentions numerous concessions granted between 1480 and 1514, which no doubt enabled mining to flourish in the Pfitsch valley in the early 16th century.