History Steinhaus


Mining administration

As the mining industry experienced its first heyday at the beginning of the 15th century, ore seekers wandered throughout Tyrol: close observation of nature permitted them to discover ore deposits in the ground. The miners’ work began where the ore veins appeared as outcrops on the Earth’s surface. At Prettau this outcrop occurred just above the treeline, at 2,000 metres above sea level in the vicinity of the Rotkreuz.
In the middle of the 15th century Steinhaus became the administrative seat of the Prettau copper mine. All the goods required for the operation of the mine were kept in a warehouse, including grain for food and raw materials for tools and lamps. All of these items were known as Pfennwerte and were paid to the miners as wages in kind. The Steinhaus grain store thus served over many centuries to keep provisions for the mine.
The present day grain store, built around 1700, with its characteristic red exterior, stood empty for many years after the suspension of mining activities in 1893. In 1989 it was purchased by the municipality of Ahrntal and since autumn 2000 has housed the Steinhaus site of the Mining Museum.