Mulderadweg - bicycle route in the Ore Mountains district

Flossgraben (log-driving canal)

Historische Ansichtskarte: Partie am Floßgraben
Historische Ansichtskarte: Rechenhaus am Floßgraben
Historische Ansichtskarte: Rechenhaus am Floßgrabenbeginn am Wehr

The canal on the opposite shore of the Mulde River, which was a man-made trench for log driving, is called the “Flossgraben”. It was built in 1556 – 1559 and was an outstanding engineering achievement of our forefathers. It led from the “Rechenhaus” (on the opposite shore of the Mulde River) in Aue to Schlema and on to the present “Zechenplatz”. It had a total length of 15.3 km. The Flossgraben canal’s route had an altitude difference of 70 m. The total cost of construction at that time amounted to an impressive 3,587 gulden, 2 “Groschen” and 2 “Pfennige” (outdated currency in Saxony).

The original Flossgraben canal is no longer fully intact. For example, in 1954 the barrage at the “Rechenhaus” was destroyed in the great flood of 1954. Now it ends at the spa gardens in Bad Schlema. In 1997 the canal was extended by the so-called Radium Institute leading to the cascades in the park.

The construction of the Flossgraben canal was necessary because of the rich discoveries of silver in the Schneeberg mining district. Much wood was required in the mines and smelters, which needed to be transported as quickly and inexpensively as possible from the wooded Auersberg Mountain region to Schneeberg. They used water power for this purpose. In spring and in autumn the timber was driven down the Mulde River and then into the Flossgraben canal directly to Schlema. The floated wood was piled for a short time to dry at the Zechenplatz in Schlema, and finally brought to Schneeberg by ox cart.

Log drivers were servants who were responsible for the transportation of the wood. They had to make sure that no timber would get stuck in the canals, and they had to be especially careful in the curves, so that the embankments wouldn’t be damaged. Moreover, there was a supervisor who walked along the entire canal every day and was responsible for keeping the canal in proper condition.

The canal was owned by the town of Schneeberg until 1951, so it was not public property. It was strictly forbidden to trespass or to take water illegally. Today there is a popular hiking trail along the Flossgraben canal.

Photos and images on this page:, Sammlung Beate Bauer

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Dieses Projekt wird im Rahmen des „Entwicklungsprogramms für den ländlichen Raum im Freistaat Sachsen 2007-2013“ unter Beteiligung der Europäischen Union und dem Freistaat Sachsen, vertreten durch das Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Landwirtschaft, gefördert.
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