[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
Sankt Andreasberg is a town and a former municipality in the district of Goslar, in Lower Saxony, Germany. Since 1 November 2011, it is part of the town Braunlage. It is situated in the Harz, approximately 7 km west of Braunlage proper, and 20 km east of Osterode am Harz.
Sankt Andreasberg was founded in the 1480s. It was first mentioned in a letter from the Count Heinrich zu Stolberg to Dietrich von Witzlebenon on 3 November 1487. The establishment of the village took place around the market. The first silver mines are assumed to be the St. Andrews Cross Mine (German: Grube St. Andreaskreuz) at the foot of the Beerberg and the St. Andrews Mine (Grube St. Andreas) by the market. In 1521, St. Andreasberg received the right to mine from Counts Heinrich and Ernst von Hohenstein. It was proclaimed in Mansfelder Land and in the mining areas of Saxony and miners were invited to dig for silver and other metals.
The area around Sankt Andreasberg is especially rich in habitats worthy of protection in within the Harz National Park, but also around the town in the form of Upper Harz mountain meadows. In the national park north-northwest of Sankt Andreasberg are the Dreibrodesteine (at ca. 641 m above NN; 51°43′57″N 10°30′40″E / 51.73250°N 10.51111°E; ND GS 43), three outsize blocks of granite that have been formed by spheroidal weathering. According to legend they originated as the three loaves of bread of a heartless woman who would not help a starving miner. With the words
(«I’d rather my three loaves became stones») she spurned the miner, whereupon the loaves grew into giant stones and squashed the woman into the mossy earth. The granite blocks are therefore a warning against heartlessness. At the Dreibrodesteine is checkpoint no. 154 (Dreibrodestein) in the Harzer Wandernadel hiking system and a memorial to the foresters and officials of the Andreasberg Forestry Office who fell in the world wars.
Other natural monuments are a group of chestnuts on the market square (ND GS 42) and the diabase deposit in the village of Silberhütte (ND GS 45). Johann Wolfgang von Goethe researched in 1783 the Hohe Klippen rocks (ND GS 146) on the Rehberg mountain above the present-day Goethe Place on the Rehberger Graben ditche, because he believed he would find evidence there for his assumptions about the earth’s history. The boundary between the geological platform made of greywacke hornfels and the underlying fine-grained Brocken granite runs by the Hohe Klippen.