Freiburg was the largest town in Saxony during the Middle Ages. It stands at the feet of the Ore mountain range of Erzgebirge, not far from Dresden. The mountains' mineral resources contributed to the town's former prosperity, traces of which are still apparent in its elegant, bourgeois houses. As early as the 12C, silver deposits were discovered nearby and for 8 centuries silver, copper, lead and zinc were mined here. The mines are no longer worked, but are open to the public and the town is clearly proud of its mining heritage.