Places on the bicycle route: Charcoal burner- village Sosa
The “Koehler” (charcoal burner) community of Sosa is one of the most beautiful places in Erzgebirge – an insider tip for those seeking tranquility. Here you can look over the shoulder of the last charcoal burners in Erzgebirge while they work. The “Köhlerei Gläser” at the “Schwarzenbergerstrasse” road is the last commercial charcoal-burning business. This belongs to one of the oldest handicrafts in Erzgebirge. This ancient industry is very closely connected to the ore mining and metallurgy. In the dark forest around Sosa there were smoking kilns in the clearings, where the “Koehler” were burning charcoal for the tin- and iron foundries, or for the mine blacksmiths.
The use of charcoal has changed over the last 100 years, so more than 90% of the charcoal produced today is used for barbecuing. Only a small fraction is needed in metal factories for making special metal alloys.
The wooded area on the Auersberg mountain (1,018 m asl) attracts the active tourist to the numerous cycling and hiking tours on the 70 km of well-developed network of trails around Sosa. The drinking-water reservoir in the idyllic “Höllengrundtal” valley is a very popular destination, not only structurally interesting. The many “Fachwerk” and half-timbered houses in Sosa are especially beautiful.
The Sosa community was first mentioned in 1453 and was under the Schwarzenberg regime. The Sosa church congregation belonged to Eibenstock until 1682. After that Sosa became independent. The church today is listed as a historic monument, dating back to the year 1617.
In the 16th century, Sosa went through a transition from being a farming village to becoming a mining community. Throughout the town and in the surrounding area one can encounter historical witnesses of a once thriving mining industry. Collapsed mines and heaps of waste are reminders of the former mining industry. Sosa has a long tradition of mining. After the decline of the mining industry, many of the miners became travelling salesmen, with their “Buckelapotheke” (a wooden frame with natural remedies in a ceramic pots, glass bottles, and wooden boxes) on their backs who went on foot as far as Lithuania.
The miner’s greeting: “Glück Auf” is still used up to the present day, and the tradition of ringing the church bells at certain times of day has remained. At burials the pallbearers are dressed in historic mining costumes.
On 01.01.2011, the water-village Wolfsgrün was incorporated into Eibenstock.