Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines (German: Markirch) is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine in northeastern France.
Sainte Marie-aux-Mines owes her celebrity to her mines. All the evolution is so conditioned in the exploitation of mines. These mines would have been discovered with Gallo-Romains which had already begun the exploitation of mines at the beginning of the 2nd or 3rd century after Jesus Christ. This hypothesis had been suggested, but was very fast abandoned for lack of serious documents.
Robert Forrer put handed her in value in 1927 by basing itself on the presence of antimony in the currencies of and the valley of Lièpvre of which depended more or less, antimony, which according to him, could come only of Sainte Marie-aux-Mines’s region, which would have so known mines from this time. It is then the black hole until the 10th century when according to the monk of the abbey of whom lived in the 13th century, a named monk Blidulphe based Echéry’s convent, situated right by the current Sainte Marie-aux-Mines. The monks noticed soon that the valley abounded in mine fertility.
The monks of Echéry are soon threatened in their possessions and their rights by the family of Echery which builds in the 13th century, the castle of Hoh-Eckerich. This family eventually monopolized the mines which the monks exploited.