The "Schwazer Berglehenbuch" and the Beginnings of Mining in Schwaz
It is likely that the "Schwazer Berglehenbuch" was written around 1515, when Emperor Maximilian I. initiated underground mining in the "Erbstollen-Fürstenbau" of the Falkenstein district. In the "Berglehenbuch", the older recordings about mining grants in the 15th century and other juridical acts were registered anew, in order to provide the mining administration with a survey of the original juridical situation in the 264 pits operated in the Falkenstein district in 1515. Among the entries in the "Berglehenbuch", the mining grant of 1441 deserves particular attention. It refers to the prospective "rechte Herrengrube" and represents the oldest indisputable evidence of a mining grant in the Falkenstein district. Including other unquestionable sources regarding the origin of special mining laws and a mining administration in the Schwaz area, it allows us to date the beginnings of a quickly expanding mining operation with special jurisdiction and well defined structures between 1441 and 1447.