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Episodes 2019; 42(2): 81-91

Published online June 1, 2019


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Rochlitz porphyry tuff (“Rochlitzer Porphyrtuff”): A candidate for “Global Heritage Stone Resource” designation from Germany

Heiner Siedel1*, Martin Rust2, Kurt Goth3, Annett Krüger4, Wolfram Heidenfelder5

1TU Dresden, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, 01062 Dresden, Germany; *Corresponding author, E-mail: Heiner.Siedel@tu-dresden.de
2Regional Management Leipziger Muldenland, Leipziger Str. 17, 04668 Grimma, Germany
3Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, Geological Survey, Pillnitzer Platz 3, 01326 Dresden, Germany
4Leipzig University, Chair of Physical Geography and Environmental Research, Johannisallee 19a, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
5GEOmontan GmbH Freiberg, Am St. Niclas Schacht 13, 09599 Freiberg, Germany

Correspondence to:E-mail: Heiner.Siedel@tu-dresden.de

Received: January 23, 2019; Revised: March 11, 2019; Accepted: March 11, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rochlitz porphyry tuff (“Rochlitzer Porphyrtuff”), a slightly welded ignimbrite from the North Saxon Volcanic Complex – a Permian supervolcano in East Germany – was used for millstones already in Neolithic age. The first use as building and sculpturing stone dates back to the early 12th century, when quarries at the Rochlitz Mountain (“Rochlitzer Berg”) provided stone blocks for ashlars, sculptures and other purposes in the region between Leipzig and Chemnitz. In the first half of the 20th century, the material was used for buildings in many other German cities, like Berlin, Dresden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich. Moreover, it was applied in Kaliningrad (Russia), Vienna (Austria) as well as in some places in the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark. The stone is presented with its petrographic and technical properties. Furthermore, the use in ancient and modern buildings, the quarrying techniques and heritage issues are discussed. The old quarry area of the Rochlitz Mountain is part of the German National Geopark “Porphyrland”, and two quarries are still producing stone for construction and restoration purposes as well as for sculptures.