Schwarzenberg, Saxony - History - Establishment and Early History

Establishment and Early History

Schwarzenberg was first documented in 1282 as “civitas Swartzenberg”, but potsherds excavated in 1977 date back somewhat further to c.1200 and the official year of establishment has been fixed at 1150. The town developed out of a fortification which is believed to have been created by Henry II, Duke of Austria to protect an important trade route between Pleissnerland and Bohemia in the otherwise unsettled area.

Schwarzenberg is German for black mountain. According to legend, an emperor of the Ottonian dynasty founded the town and named it after the colour of the rock. It is generally believed that the town was in fact named after the appearance created by the thick, dark forest.

The town is said to have passed to Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in 1170, and then to his son, Emperor Henry VI. Later, numerous changes of ownership occurred. In 1334 the house of Lobdeburg held Schwarzenberg and the surrounding area as a fief. The house of Tettau obtained the town in 1425, and sold it to Elector John the Magnanimous of Saxony in 1533.

Villages began to form around Schwarzenberg Castle, and for c.1500, 48 families are documented in Schwarzenberg, which was then the seat of the superintendent of the mines in the area. During the reformation, the town became Protestant.

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