Copper mining has a very old tradition in the province of Salzburg. It was extracted from
the mountains even before bronze was produced. In the Middle Ages the copper mining at Hüttau at the Igelsbach and in Gielach was of great economic importance,
as well as at the Schwemmberg near Radstadt, around St.Veit in Pongau.
It is assumed that our colliery at Larzenbach was already in operation in the 13th century.
The first documentary mention is dated 1549. The Perner and the Feuersenger are
mentioned as trades or mine owners. The representative Gewerkenhaus from the
time of 1594 stands in the centre of Hüttau and accommodates today among other
things the municipal office and an inn.
From 1540 - 1554 Duke Ernst of Bavaria was provincial ruler of Salzburg. The records
of Mr. Hannsen Goldseisen date from this period. He was the "paymaster" of the
provincial ruler and also had to pay the wages, the so-called Raitungen, in the mining areas,
in Hüttau as well as in Rauris and Gastein. From 1552 - 1554 exact salary tables and calculations are available.
Very detailed travel expense accounts of Goldseisen's trips to Hytta or Hüt(t)aw or Hüetaw are available, as well as exact lists of the approx. 150 wage earners.
The climax of gold- and copper mining in Salzburg was reached in the 16th and 17th century, towards the end of the 17th century, and especially in the 18th century,
mining activities strongly decreased. High taxes ("Obuli") and decreasing copper returns
from the low-grade ore veins caused the ruin of many mine owners and resulted in
the closure of most mines in the 17th century.
In 1853, ore mining on Larzenbach came to life again for a short time, but the mine
had to be closed in 1869. One the one hand, there were financial reasons, on the other hand, because of increasingly occuring and badly smeltable grey copper ore.
After this time, silence descended on the copper mine on Larzenbach and it fell into decay.
How - after more than 120 years - a show mine could develop, read here...