National geopark

Oloví

Photo by J. Tvrdý
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Photo by J. Tvrdý
Photo by J. Tvrdý
Photo by J. Tvrdý

Old lead mines in thick forests

Oloví was founded as a mining settlement near high-grade lead ore deposits. The oldest written account of the mines in the environs dates back to 1314. During the reign of Charles IV, the mines were acquired in 1350 by the lords of Hartenberg, who owned them until the 16th century.

At that time, lead was used in bell founding, mintage, in pottery glaze, and mainly as an essential additive in metallurgical production of copper and silver. It is no surprise, then, that the Schlick lords became the new owners of the estate, as they urgently needed lead for the cupellation of silver ore.

In the 16th century, most of the 40–50 ore-bearing veins occurring in the district, which spread from Studenec to Oloví and Hřebeny and all the way to Radvanov, were known. Around thirty thousand tonnes of lead were produced during this entire century.

In the 20th century, the mines were reopened because of an increased demand for minerals by the arms industry. However, the attempts to mine lead and uranium did not bring any significant economic impact. The mysterious character of the romantic wooded landscape of the environs is therefore only intensified by numerous depressions and collapsed adit entries. Nature trails and accessible mine workings already provide tourists with an opportunity to rediscover the landscape.

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