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Excerpt from the chronicles of Bärenstein

This is just a brief abstract of the history of Bärenstein. For more information refer to the department of local history, branch Bärenstein of the Erzgebirgsverein (Ore Mountains Association). Person to contact: Mr Hellmut Frank. Telephone: +49 37347 / 1411

 

Before being populated, the Ore Mountains were covered with dense forests, the so-called "Miriquidi" meaning 'dark forest'. » Link Wikipedia

 

  • 1527 is to be regarded as the actual year of birth of Bärenstein.
  • 1548 Bärenstein was first mentioned in the records as settlement, in fact as 'Ratsdorf' (meaning borough) of Annaberg.
  • 1557 The Land Bridge (now Border Bridge) over the waterway Pöhlbach was built. At that time mining was flourishing in the whole valley. Particularly on the east bank lots of mines were opened up. As a result many miners settled down there.
  • 1655 The Lutheran Protestant Church of our Saviour was consecrated on 4th November after a construction time of only six months.
  • 1688 Bärenstein had a population of about 700 inhabitants and was thus one of the largest villages in the Ore Mountains after the Thirty Years' War.
  • At the end of the 18th century Bärenstein became gradually industrialized.
  • 1827-1830 The road between Bärenstein and Annaberg was built.
  • 1872 With the inauguration of the 'Saxon-Bohemian junction line Annaberg-Weipert', which ran via Bärenstein, a significant economic upswing began that had particularly positive effects on the textile industry (manufacture of trimmings).
  • 1898-1899 The town hall was built.
  • 1913 At the suggestion of the Bärenstein branch of the Ore Mountain Association the existing shelter on the mountain 'Bärenstein' was replaced by a hostel.
  • 1920-1921 The citizens of Roman-Catholic denomination built their own chapel, the 'St.-Bonifatius-Church'.
  • 1921 By building a jump at the eastern slope of the mountain Bärenstein winter sport was revived. Development of tourism started in the 1930s.
  • 1945 As a result of World War II the border bridge between Bärenstein and Vejprty was closed.
  • 1946-1954 Uranium ore was extracted in Bärenstein by the Soviet-German Company SDAG Wismut. Many miners moved in so that the number of inhabitants increased rapidly to about 6,000 people. The workforce released with the end of uranium mining found new employment in the growing number of local industrial enterprises. Since 1970 Bärenstein has been a nationally recognized health resort.
  • Since 1970 Bärenstein has been a nationally recognized health resort.
  • In the years following 1990 an enormous industrial downturn due to the transformed political and economic circumstances was to be seen. The upswing in construction and trade could not fully compensate for the loss of many jobs.
  • 1991 The border crossing to the Czech Republic was reopened.
  • On 23 May 1992 the treaty of friendship between the twinned localities of Planegg and Bärenstein was solemnly signed.
  • On 1 August 1993 the first passenger train after 48 years bound for Vejprty crossed the railway bridge. Before the bridge had been renovated.
  • Since 1995 there has been a regular train service to Vejprty.
  • Since 1996 the municipalities of Bärenstein and Königswalde work together in an administrative collectivity.
  • 1997 As a result of the territorial reform in the Free State of Saxony Hammerunterwiesenthal was incorporated into the municipality of the Health Resort Oberwiesenthal, whereas the inhabitants of Niederschlag achieved by a petition that their village was not incorporated into Oberwiesenthal but became a borough of Bärenstein on 1st January.
  • 1 August 2008 The reorganisation of districts and functional structures comes into force bringing about lots of changes within the Free State of Saxony. Extensive responsibilities and duties of the state are assigned to the rural districts and cities that do not belong to a district and to the municipal social welfare association. In addition, the rural districts in Saxony are restructured. The number of districts is reduced from 22 to 10. The number of cities that do not belong to a district goes down from 7 to 3. So Bärenstein will not belong to the rural district of Annaberg anymore but to the new Erzgebirgskreis which consists of the four former districts of Annaberg, Aue-Schwarzenberg, Mittlerer Erzgebirgskreis and Stollberg.
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