The proud tradition of mining
in the Ridnaun valley is even older than the Volgger family. The Ridanna Valley can look back on a long and proud tradition of mining. On the Monteneve-Schneeberg mountain, between the Ridanna and Passiria Valleys, a large ore deposit runs through the mountains at an altitude of 2000 to 2500 metres above sea level. Here was one of the highest mines in Europe
, where for centuries silver, lead and zinc were mined. The first written record comes from the year 1237
, the mining of zinc blende
, which makes up the main part of the ore deposit, began, but could hardly be utilised before then. Schneeberg became the first mine in Tyrol
and one of the most important in Europe. At the end of the valley, in Maiern, a miners’ settlement, workshops, and a large ore processing plant were built where the zinc was separated from the slag. The facility, which was converted to the flotation process in the 1920s, is still fully functional and can be visited. However, the European mining crisis eventually reached the Ridnaun valley, and in 1985, the mine was closed down
, although the facility is still fully operational. The closure brought an end to the era of mining in Ridnaun, which had lasted 800 years
What brought wealth and power to world and religious leaders meant hard work for the miners. Their living and working conditions were extremely harsh and, especially in winter, their job was very dangerous. Perhaps for this very reason, the miners’ traditions and pride are still deeply rooted in the culture of the Ridnaun valley.