The geological history of the Krušné hory Mountains starts as far back as the pre-Primary period when the oldest sediments and eruptive rocks were created. The area probably got its current shape in the Tertiary period when the fault tectonics caused strong downthrows on south-east side of the mountain range. The movements on the fault lines contributed to the creation of deep transverse valleys in the mountain slopes and thick stony detritus and other geests in the Krušné hory Mountains.
The name of the Krušné hory Mountains originated over time. In the old chronicles from the 9th century are names such as Hircanus Saltus or Fergunna. Two centuries later the mountain massif was called Miriquidi (the dark forests) since it was almost entirely covered by forest. Since the 12th century it was collectively called the Czech woodlands together with all the other Czech border mountain ranges (Böhmerwald or Böhmischer Wald). The Krušné hory Mountains name, Erzgebirge in the German version, describes its mineral resources and appeared for the first time in a chronicle from the year 1589. The literal translation of the German name "the Ore Mountains" indicated the minerals being mined there. In the old Czech language this activity was called "krušení" and it later was the name given to the mountain range.
The foothills of the central Krušné hory Mountains were already inhabited in the primeval ages. Perhaps the mineral resources in the nearby mountains played a role. There were scattered Celtic settlements and from the 5th century the first Slavs started to appear. At the beginning the settlements were really random but later the area became more important because of mineral mining. Then came new settlements along the trade roads, which accelerated the development of the mountain areas. The oldest trade road, the Kralupy salt road, existed since the 10th century.
More dense colonization of the Krušné hory Mountains mostly by German inhabitants started in two waves in connection with the so-called Berggeschrey in the 12th and 15th centuries, when rich silver prospects were discovered (1168 in Freiberg, 1470 in Schneeberg and 1491/92 in the present area of Annaberg-Buchholz). Later other minerals - tin, copper, lead, cobalt, nickel and wolfram - were also found.
After mining declined in the 19th century, traditional craft production started to develop. The Krušné hory Mountains were famous for its wooden toys, lace and bobbin lace work. At the same time, coal mining in the Krušné hory mountains southern slopes advanced systematically.
In the 1930s, the hundred years long peaceful coexistence of the two nationalities in the Sudetenland and thus also on the Eastern side of the Krušné hory Mountains, was disturbed. Under political pressure the Czechs and the Germans were divided into two camps. In 1938, the Czechs left the villages in the borderland and after the war the German inhabitants were displaced. The displacement brought about a fundamental turning point for the whole area located in the Krušné hory Mountains. The subsequent Czech colonisation has never reached the pre-war level resulting in a de-population of the mountain areas and to the absolute extinction of some villages and many of the traditional activities from this region (wooden toys production, lace work, gun production, fringe making, glove making, stocking weaving, button making...).
The brown coal mining located in the Most basin, which became really intensive in the 2nd half of the 20th century, led to economic growth but the price was high - the environment was devastated, dozens of villages were destroyed. Industrial pollution damaged the Krušné hory Mountains, especially their forests.
Since the last decade of the 20th century and new millennium, life around the mountains and in the mountains has taken on a new character. The damage caused by the brutal devastation of the countryside is being repaired, traditions are being renewed and the wildlife is coming back. The borders along the mountain ridges that once divided people on both sides are today only symbolic.
The history of the Krušné hory Mountain region is rich and exciting. They say that history is important only for those who learn from it; who forget and overcome all the bad events of the past; and those who preserve and develop all the good that our predecessors started and what brought fame to the region. Here, in the Krušné hory Mountains we succeed in that. Is that hard to believe? Then come and see it!