The district was formed in 1994 by merging the two previous districts Marienberg and Zschopau.
The district is located in the Ore Mountains (GermanErzgebirge). The highest elevation is the 891 m high Hirtstein, the lowest elevation with 305 m is located in Witzschdorf. 40% of the area is covered by forests.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms shows three symbols of the typical industries of the district. To the left is a wheel, symbolizing the water mills which were abundant in the district, it also symbolizes the more modern industries. The tree to the left stands for the many forests and the timber industry, the hammers in the bottom are a mining symbol, as the district was a center of ore mining.
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