The Saigerhütte was founded in 1537 by Bergmeister (master miner) Hans Leonhard of Annaberg. In 1550, the smelting works was purchased by Christoph Uthmann, a mine proprietor also of Annaberg. After his death, ownership passed to his wife Barbara and their children.

The property was acquired by the Prince Elector of Saxony in 1567 and subsequently expanded to become one of the most important metallurgical facilities in the region. The silver it produced was very much in demand for the minting of coins and made a substantial contribution to the wealth of the state of Saxony. At times, more than ten percent of all silver mined in Saxony was produced here. The Saigerhütte was also the centre of copper working in Saxony. The tough-pitch copper produced was turned into plates, pans and rods, using no fewer than fifteen hammers in the four separate hammer mills. The first rolling mill began production in 1847.

The high-quality Grünthal roofing copper, which developed an unmistakable green patina soon after installation, was especially sought after. It was used on the roofs of more than 400 buildings in Europe.

Liquation at Saigerhütte Grünthal ceased in 1853. In 1873, the premises were taken over by Sächsische Kupfer- und Messingwerke F.A. Lange (F.A. Lange Saxon Copper and Brass Works). The company was renamed F.A. Lange Metallwerke AG (i.e. metal works) in 1931.

After the Second World War, the plant was nationalised and became a state-owned sheet metal rolling mill which produced hot rolled sheet steel from 1947 onwards. Between 1958 and 1961, the Kupferhammer (copper hammer shed) was converted into a Technical Museum. After the sheet rolling mill closed permanently in 1991, work began on a project to develop the entire complex into a museum and tourist attraction.