ustrial stone quarrying in the land of stone workers

The stone treasure in the Geopark Porphyry Land

Around 290 million years ago, our Porphyry Land, was located south of the equator on the continent of Pangaea. Strong volcanic activity along geological zones of weakness brought magma from a depth of 15 kilometres to the earth’s surface where it solidified in kilometre-wide collapse basins, called calderas, to form porphyry and other rocks.
Porphyry consists of various individual crystals in a fine-grained matrix. The structure of this volcanic rock varies greatly depending on how quickly the magma cooled during its ascent and on the earth’s surface. Most of the reddish-brown porphyries were formed as a result of the Rochlitz eruption, while grey quartz porphyries are a product of the Wurzen eruption.
Countless quarries in the Geopark Porphyry Land bear witness to the traditional use of this valued stone for 900 years: as building and paving stones as well as gravel and chippings for building, road and railway construction. The Rochlitz porphyry tuff is the first rock from Germany to be on the „IUGS Heritage Stone“ list for globally unique natural building stones.

Captions of historical photographs

  • 1888 – Quartz porphyry mining in the Spitzberg quarry
  • approx. 1930 – Drilling team preparing manual boreholes with drill rod and sledgehammers for blasting (Löbenberg)
  • approx. 1900-1950 – View of the Gaudlitzberg quarry with carving huts for paving stone production
  • 1926 – Stonemason producing paving stones (Spitzberg quarry)
  • 1950s – Stone worker with pneumatic wedge hammer preparing to split stone with driving wedges
  • 1915 – Female rock crackers producing „coarse chippings“ for road construction in the Schöna quarry (Mockrehna)
  • 1960s – Stone worker manually transporting a loaded lorry in the Breiter Berg quarry (Lüptitz)
  • approx. 1958 – Light railway diesel locomotive with wagons for the internal transport of rock in the Breiter Berg quarry (Lüptitz)
  • 1925 – Gravel works at the Zinkenberg quarry
  • 1960 – Jaw crusher in the Lüptitz grit works for pre-crushing the rock
  • 1975 – Dumper truck with rock before loading the lorry lift in the Breiter Berg quarry (Lüptitz)
  • 1983 – Blaster preparing a boulder blast in the Zinkenberg quarry
  • 1993 – Wheel loader and mobile crushing plant in Lüptitz quarry
  • 2012 – Tipper at the crushing plant at Lüptitz quarry
  • 2018 – View of the Lüptitz quartz porphyry quarry

Captions in right column

  1. Granite porphyry wall in the historical Beucha church quarry with Bergkirche (Hill Church): national geotope and tourist attraction
  2. Climbing wall in the abandoned Gaudlitzberg quarry
  3. Abandoned Gleisberg quarry: historical extraction site of the Rochlitz porphyry tuff and national geotope
  4. Abandoned Wolfsberg quarry: natural site monument
  5. Rock gorge in the former Zinkenberg quartz porphyry quarry

Map: Volcanic rocks in the Geopark Porphyry Land

Geopark boundary
Wurzen Caldera
Rochlitz Caldera
Porphyries of the Wurzen caldera (predominantly grey)
Porphyries of the Rochlitz caldera (predominantly reddish-brown)

Overview map of industrial quarries in the Geopark Porphyry Land

Border Geopark

Quarry in operation
Quarry shut down

Map status 2023

Note: On most of the mountains there are centuries-old quarries, which have often been united in the course of improved stone quarrying technology. Quarries of only local importance are not shown on the map.