Ironworks Gottesgab

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Postcard from Fichtelberg (around 1934)

The Gottesgab ironworks (also called Gottesgab am Fichtelberg ) was located in Fichtelberg in Upper Franconia . It was founded in 1602 and existed until 1859.


On 10 August 1602 a lay union in Palatine government in Amberg a presumption for the Fichtelberg (now Ochsenkopf on), also the construction of was hammer mill with a blast furnace and related equipment requested. This union belonged to: Georg von Schönburg , Waldenburg and Glauchen , Michael Loefenius , electoral councilor of the government of Amberg, Matheus Carl , master goldsmith from Nuremberg and electoral mountain overseer, Hans Glaser , smelter from Warmensteinach and Theophil Richius , councilor and rentmaster from Amberg, at the same time Administrator of the Speinshart Monastery . The then governor of the Upper Palatinate , Prince Christian von Anhalt , was also involved in this merger. But before a loan could be made, the consent of the Lords of Hirschberg had to be obtained, who were assigned the use of all ore deposits in this area. The first ore mines were found by two treasure troops ( Hans Dürmann and Hans Dötter ) who continued to work here.

Memorial stone for Johann Glaser

The fiefdom letter was issued on November 18, 1602 by Elector Friedrich IV. In Heidelberg and the first mines were established in Gleißenfels and on Schwarzenberg near Kulmain and on Scheunbühl . On May 31, 1604 the concession was extended, now all other persons within a radius of two miles were prohibited from building iron mines or hammer mills. The union was also allowed to smelt other metals and to build sawmills and brickworks, and it was given extensive rights to use the forest, water and land, as well as lower jurisdiction . The plant was also not subject to the regulations of the Upper Palatinate hammer cleaning service , which was a decisive competitive advantage. This was achieved through the resignation of the only foreign member Georg von Schönburg and the admission of Christian von Anhalt , governor of the Upper Palatinate, as co-trades. Hans Glaser , who was temporarily supported by a Carinthian named Turek or Türeckh , was in charge of the works . Matheus Carl was responsible for the technical side of the works. It was also he who traveled to Saxony and Bohemia to check out the latest blast furnaces and steel hammers.


On November 28, 1605, far-reaching decisions were made regarding the further expansion of the works (second blast furnace, construction of another steel and wire hammer, production of cast goods). These resolutions formed, as it were, the founding document for the place Gottesgab. With the commissioning of the second blast furnace, an intensification of ore mining and the development of new pits were connected. In 1614 these delivered 2,570 Seidel ore (1 Seidl = 280 kg), whereby ore was purchased from Walderhof in 1614 e.g. B. 1.319 Seidel. For the operation of the water wheels, the bellows and the hammers, extensive waterworks were built on the Fichtelnaab , including the diversion of rivers and the creation of reservoirs (today e.g. Fichtelsee ) to ensure continuous operation. 1610 two blast furnaces, two were from the work wire hammers , a ball-peen hammer , two iron hammers and a steel hammer operated, 1614 was the creation of a sheet-metal hammer , especially the armor plate should generate started; this could be inaugurated on July 31, 1614.

As early as 1606, a permanent iron store was set up in the “Zum Weißen Roß” inn in Nuremberg to sell the manufactured products . Supply contracts were also negotiated with other Nuremberg iron dealers. In addition, the iron was sold directly to craftsmen in the area (e.g. blacksmiths, locksmiths, gunsmiths, pipe smiths). A large proportion was taken up by the production and sale of armaments (fire mortars , cannon pellets ). Gottesgab was able to deliver 2,000 quintals of cannonballs to the emperor as a Turkish tax in 1613. In the following year a similar deal should have come about, i. H. This even gives rise to the possibility that Friedrich von der Pfalz was struck by his own cannonballs sold to the emperor at the battle of the White Mountain .

From March 2, 1618 in the community of Neubau a letter of appointment for Bernhard Plöchinger as administrator “ufm new mine on the Fichtelberg, called zur Gottesgab” , 1622 it says “Gottesgab ufm Neutagebeu, belongs to the gentlemen trades and are free of rights (2 blast furnaces, 1 mill, 2 hammers, crew) " .

The co-trades Christian von Anhalt was also the responsible advisor for the Winter King , Friedrich von der Pfalz . After the defeat at the Battle of the White Mountain , he fell under the imperial ban and was declared forfeit of his property. That should actually have affected his share in the Gottesgab steelworks, strangely enough, however, there were no measures on the part of the Bavarian administration or the emperor. In 1624 Christian von Anhalt was able to achieve a reconciliation with Emperor Ferdinand II , after which he retired to his Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg . He gave away his shares in the Fichtelberg factory for loyal service to his servants Georg Friedrich Schwarzenberger and Melchior Loys , Anhalt penny master . However, they could not enforce their claims and the work went to Dr. Hämmerl , Imperial Commissioner of Amberg, and his colleagues Härtl and Hainwald . The work was initially continued by the soon deceased Trades Härtl . After that, Johann Peter is named here as administrator. In 1635 the place was attacked, looted and set on fire during the Thirty Years' War . After that only the Hammer Oberlind was put into operation, which was headed by Otto Loefen . First Carl Heider , the former armor sheet smith of the factory, worked on the hammer , and then his son Georg . After the end of the Thirty Years' War, the elector took on the work of God as a mountain fief that had fallen into the open .

After 1650, Georg Friedrich von Reichenbach was named as the first state administrator , but he squandered a lot of money because of alchemical experiments. Otto Loefen was initially left in the possession of the Oberlind hammer. The government signed a contract with him, according to which the hammer would be given to him for an annual lease. In 1654 Peter Lödel was appointed as the new administrator , who was replaced by Ernst Friedrich Schneider in 1656 . Under state administration, the plant could not make any profits and so it was leased to a private entrepreneur, under whom there was again a considerable boom. On March 20, 1658 it came to Johann Ernst von Altmannshausen , elector colonel sergeant on foot, and Ludwig Erdinger , councilor and iron merchant in Regensburg. They had to pay inventory funds amounting to 550 fl annually and a borrowing (= deposit) of 3,000 fl. When the lease was extended in 1663, only Johann Ernst von Altmannshausen appears ; In the meantime, he had also taken over the Hammer Oberlind inventory, in 1674 he was able to buy it. In Ebnath he rebuilt a hammer and in Warmensteinach he leased another. In 1674 he became district judge of Waldeck-Kemnath and used his position to harass the other hammer masters by cutting off their ore supply. In 1689 the lease was not extended because he was accused of concealing the real income from the work. However, there was no guilty verdict against him. The electoral mining authority Fichtelberg has existed since 1689.


  • Götschmann, Dirk: Upper Palatinate iron. Mining and iron industry in the 16th and 17th centuries. Ed. Association of Friends and Patrons of the Mining and Industry Museum in East Bavaria (= Volume 5 of the series of publications by the Mining and Industry Museum in East Bavaria), Theuern 1985, ISBN 3-924350-05-1 , pp. 177–224.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Friedrich von der Pfalz, iron production in the Upper Palatinate and the Bohemian Crown. Theses on an as yet unknown relationship (short version)
  2. Historical Atlas of Bavaria , Altbayern Series I, Issue 40: Kemnath, p. 218.
  3. Historical Atlas of Bavaria , Altbayern Series I, Issue 40: Kemnath, p. 192.

Coordinates: 49 ° 59 '57.8 "  N , 11 ° 51' 3.9"  E