Try saying this five times real fast “Cistercian monks have a secret of Silver in Saxony.” OK, I made that up; but, it does sum up Olbernhau quite nicely (and has some ring to it).
Olbernhau credits Cistercian monks with the founding of this Saxonian town somewhere back in the 13th century. That’s just about when “ore” was discovered. Hmm, I guess they don’t call them the Ore Mountains (that surround the area) for nothing.
Mining was huge to Olbernhau’s local economy for many centuries after that. The fact that it also lied on the trading “Silver Route” also helped, I’m sure.
Monies from all the commerce helped to fund the building of the Olbernhauer Church on the Market Square — which still stands today. It’s a somber looking building with gray walls and black roof and “onion” dome — but, doesn’t look out of place on the cobblestone street for some reason.
Also not out of place is Olbernhau’s Local History Museum (Heimatmuseum). It’s more like a local tradition museum, though, with stories of life in and around town. It’s worth the 3 Euro entrance fee to see what life was like in this small mining community. The museum is quite family friendly and offers a “family” admittance price.
Life in Olbernhau is more than just its mining roots and an outdoor craft museum. They got sports here, too, with miniature golfing, bowling, tennis, and skiing (yes, it snows here in the winter). The walking and cycling paths through the mountain countryside might be a challenge; but, OH SO gorgeous. Don’t go too far, you’ll overshoot Germany completely & wind up in the neighboring Czech Republic (only a few kilometers away).
August brings on the Olbernhauer Radtour, a bicycling event that’s a big hit with locals and visitors alike. And if you’re here in December, join in the Christmas festivities with a carol sing-along.
For any other kind of sightseeing or cultural activity the local tourism office is a mighty big help. Ask them for help getting your fishing license, so you can sit by the crystal waters in the City of Seven Valleys or Stadt der sieben Täler, which Olbernhau is also called.
Now, that has some ring to it! ;-)