Constructed at the beginning of the 17th century, the Rote Graben man made ditch stretches over a distance of 7.5 km and accounts for the widest known ditches in the mining district of Freiberg.
Measuring 7.5 km, the Rote Graben man made ditch accounts for the widest known ditches in the mining district of Freiberg. Constructed in 1614/15 it coursed originally from the Ratsmühle mill at Halsbach to the township of Halsbrücke. Later on it was extended as far as to the Grube Churprinz mine at Großschirma. The ditch took water from the left side adits of the Mulde valley. A number of adits are located in close proximity to the ditch. By the end of 19th century the ditch had been operated with a discharge capacity of 800 to 1.000 l/s. It provided motive water for mining equipment and water-driven gins for important mines that worked on the Halsbrücker Spat vein, and later on, motive water for the smeltery of Halsbrücke. At present, the Rote Graben man made ditch has partially been silted up and the original extents have become hard to recognize. Originally measuring 2.7 m in width and 1.4 m in depth the ditch had a profile of almost 4 m2.