In the modern-day transformations of cities and regions in Europe, maintaining and emphasizing one’s own identity is a substantial problem. It refers especially to industrial areas, in particular the ones connected with exploitation of natural resources through different mining techniques. The example of east Bavaria shows that mining areas and buildings can still be a basis of regional identity – regardless of current state of mining activity. Bavarian cities, referred to in the course of the article, represent different stages of development of mining function – from active industrial exploitation, through the phase of liquidation of mines, until the post-industrial period, in which the remains of mining industry, retained in different states, no longer perform their original role. During the analysis of the identity of mining towns, all of the above stages were taken into consideration. The essence of this identity in contemporary development and functioning of both deep and opencast mines was of particular importance. The conclusions that are drawn from the deliberation, not only point towards the crucial role of mining function in the shaping of historical and contemporary identity of selected Bavarian towns, but are also an interesting background for analogical research of the numerous mining centres in Poland.