Since the early Middle Ages, metal mining has been a key economic activity in the Erzgebirge region. The development of the mine at Pöhla began in 1967 after drilling identified rich deposits of uranium. An 8-km tunnel was cut through the rock to give access. When a deposit of tin ore was discovered, it was extracted to make one of Europe’s largest mining caverns, measuring 45 m in length and 12 m in height. The mine was extended to reach the uranimum ore and bismuth through the tunnel and shafts. However, the operation ended at the time of German Reunification. The mine opened to the public in 2007. Visitors take a 3-km train journey through the tunnel to the great tin deposit. Former miners conduct guided tours and give demonstrations of drilling and excavation. Concerts make use of the tin cavern’s natural acoustics.
The location is part of the Erzgebirge-Krušnohoří montan region World Heritage Site.