||The book offers a summary of the social, economic and cultural aspects of metal mining in the Bohemian Erzgebirge. Individual chapters deal with the origin and development of the mining towns from the 14th to the 16th century. This history is complemented by chapters on the history of local guilds and medal making. Attention is also paid to sacral monuments in the context of the Reformation and ensuing recatholization. The fate of the monuments and works of art, illustrating a rich and varied history of this once important region, is traced up to the second half of the 20th century, when many of them vanished as a result of lignite mining.