Erzgebirge (Ger., Ore mountains), a range of mountains on the boundary between Bohemia and Saxony, and in its southern portion lying chiefly in Bohemia. It extends E. N. E. and W. S. W. about 100 m., and covers an average breadth of about 25 m. At its western extremity it connects with the range called the Fichtelgebirge, where the White Elster has its source. The river Elbe defines its E. extremity, flowing toward the north through the valley that separates the Erzgebirge from the Lusa-tian mountains. On the north the range slopes gently toward the plains of Germany, but on the south the descent is more precipitous, with deep and narrow valleys running down to the valley of the river Eger, which flows E. to the Elbe. The highest elevations are W. of the central part of the range. Here are the summits of the Keilberg, Fichtelberg, and Schwarz-wald, all rising to a height of about 4,000 ft. above the sea. These are granitic peaks, but toward the Elbe, where the granitic rocks give place to sandstone, the elevation declines to a maximum of 1,800 ft.
The range is traversed by six great roads, the most important of them connecting Prague with Dresden and Chemnitz. The valley of the Elbe admits the passage of the range by the railroad from Dresden to Vienna. The Erzgebirge have long been famous for their mineral productions, the most important of which are silver, tin, iron, cobalt, lead, and copper. Other mineral products are gold, found in small quantity, mercury, arsenic, bismuth, antimony, zinc, manganese, and sulphur. Coal is found in the lower country near Dresden and Zwickau, and porcelain clay at Aue, 12 m. S. E. of Zwickau, used in the royal manufactory at Meissen.