Mountain court

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A Mountain Court was a court that for mining law matters, arbitration and accident investigations in the coalfields was responsible, supervised the concessions and represented the legal rights of sovereigns. In the mining areas, the mountain courts were responsible for the coal and ore mines, lime and stone quarries, as well as the processing and sale of products from these farms. At the end of the 18th century , the mountain courts were dissolved and their functions fell under the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts.


The mountain dishes developed from the earlier Berggedinge (see Thing ) from the 16th century, which usually met in public as a hundred . In 1413 a wisdom regulates the rights of the imperial abbey Kornelimünster in relation to the recovery of mineral resources in the Münsterländchen . In Gressenich and Kall, the wisdoms were the first written definition of mining rights in the 15th century. The mountain regulations issued by Duke Wilhelm V von Jülich-Kleve-Berg on April 27, 1542 replaced these wisdoms, but at the same time was based on them. This mountain order remained the legal basis until the time of the French occupation in 1794. The mining law took precedence over the law on land and determined the mineral resources as ducal regalia . This sovereignty is also called Bergregal .

Composition of the court

At the top were the mountain judge and, in the function of lay judges, the mountain jury , as well as the mountain judge clerk . The function of the mountain judge was taken over by either the mining authority administrator, the mountain bailiff or the mountain master . The mountain jury also supervised the coal and ore mines and the pings .

The number of mountain jury members was not the same in every district, in some districts the mountain judge was supported by up to 11 mountain jury members. Other helpers of the mountain court in some districts were the forester, the Fronbote, the Fröner and the silver changer. The Fronbote was responsible for the enforcement of court judgments and for other courier services. The Fröner and the silver changer had to meticulously check the duties (fron and bills of exchange) that were to be paid to the sovereign .


The mountain courts were located in the cities in which there were mines or in the vicinity of which mining was carried out. The scope of the mountain courts generally coincided with the district boundaries of the regional courts, although there were exceptions. If mining came to a standstill in the district of the mountain court, or if there was more productive mining in another district, the mountain court was also relocated to this location.


  • Carl Friedrich Richter: The latest mountain and hut lexicon. First volume, Kleefeldsche Buchhandlung, Leipzig 1805

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Johann Christoph Stößel (Ed.): Mining dictionary. Chemnitz 1778.
  2. Explanatory dictionary of the technical art and foreign words that occur in the mining industry, in metallurgy and in salt works . Falkenberg'schen Buchhandlung publishing house, Burgsteinfurt 1869.
  3. Berggericht Sterzing-Gossensaß ( Memento of September 4, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (last accessed on June 4, 2012).
  4. South Tyrolean Mining Museum: The Prettau copper mine - Steinhaus granary. ( Memento of the original from February 5, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (last accessed June 4, 2012). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Robert R. v. Srbik: Tiroler Bergverwandte (last accessed on June 4, 2012).

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