Not far from Christiansdorf, now known as Freiberg, Germany, traders happen upon silver ore in 1168 and announce what will go down in history as the first discovery of rich ore deposits there. The inhospitable Erzgebirge suddenly become a magnet for miners, traders, charcoal burners and vagabonds. The silver rush creates wealth in these parts of Saxony that will last several centuries – a significant factor in the development of the intricate art of watchmaking in later times.
The first official record of Glaßehutte dates back to 1445. The place owes its name to the fascinating transparent material, glass (Glaße), while Hutte refers to a workshop. Yet the discovery of silver ore here in 1490 is also crucial to the little town’s development.