Headframe of the “Krystyna” shaft, Bytom
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Headframe of the “Krystyna” shaft

Bytom

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The structure is an example, unique on a regional scale, of a headframe of the tower type having an original, modernist character. It is also one of the two surviving structures of the former “Szombierki” Mine. It is regarded as a symbol of the city. The high architectural value, the preserved original form of the structure, and elements of the original equipment place the monument among the most valuable examples of technical and artistic achievements of the inter-war period.

History

The headframe of the “Krystyna” shaft (formerly: “Kaiser Wilhelm”) is a component of the infrastructure of the former KWK (Hard Coal Mine) “Szombierki” (formerly: “Hohenzollern”), whose history goes back to 1869, when it was established by Silesian industrial magnates from the Schaffgotsch family. In 1882, the shaft became part of the “Paulus-Hohenzollern” Mine and of the so-called “Hohenzollernschachte” region. Other shafts were also constructed in the 4th quarter of the 19th century, including the drainage shaft “Hohenzollern” (later “Ewa”), the extraction shaft “Kaiser Friedrich” (“Jadwiga”), the ventilation shaft “Gemander” (“Janina”), and the extraction shafts Sommer and Georg. In the division of Upper Silesia into German and Polish parts in the early 1920s, the “Hohenzollernschachte“ field region was included in the German part and turned into an independent “Hohenzollerngrube” Mine. As the “Kaiser Wilhelm” shaft, originally 171 m deep, was deepened to 510 m during works carried out in 1920 and 1928, the obsolete, tower headframe from the 19th century required modernisation. In 1928, the old headframe was replaced with a modernist tower headframe made of steel, having a post-and-beam construction and covered with brick façades without any decorations, resembling a mining hammer in shape. Two modern electrical hoisting machines produced by the companies Vereinigte Oberschlesische Hüttenwerke Werk Donnersmarckhütte Hindenburg and BBC Brown Boveri & Gie Mannheim, with 2,700 horsepower in 1928 and 3,263 horsepower from 1933, were installed in the top part of the structure, replacing the previously used steam engine machines. At that time, shaft-top buildings, including a new sorting plant, a patent-fuel plant, workshops, forging shop, warehouses, and a worker’s building, were also constructed in the immediate vicinity of the headframe.

The mine became state-owned in 1945 and was renamed KWK “Szombierki”, whereas the “Kaiser Wilhelm” shaft was renamed “Krystyna”. In the post-war period, the shaft was deepened to 840 m, but the structure and character of the headframe were not modified. The “Szombierki” Mine was merged with the KWK “Karol” in the 1970s and with the KWK “Centrum” in the 1990s; eventually, it was closed in 1997. As the mine stopped operating, the “Krystyna” shaft and its headframe were also decommissioned, and in 2001, the neighbouring shaft-top buildings from the 1920s were dismantled. On the initiative of the Silesian Voivodeship Conservator, the headframe of the “Krystina” shaft and its equipment, i.e. electrical hoisting machines, and the surrounding area, were entered into the register of immovable monuments of the Silesian Voivodeship in 2004.

Description

The headframe is located in the central part of the former “Szombierki” Mine complex, situated in a city district having the same name, to the south of the Bytom city centre. Several shaft-top buildings and the headframe of the “Ewa” shaft, located in the direct vicinity, have also been preserved.

The tower-type headframe is a modernist, post-and-beam, riveted structure made of steel, enclosed with a brick building on a rectangular floor plan on the outside. The shape of the external part, 56 m high, resembles a huge mining hammer, consisting of a tall “handle” surmounted by a wider “head”, separated by means of a reinforced concrete slab. The façades, faced with brick, are divided by means of vertical, axially-arranged rows of windows framed by brick lesenes; the window sections of the head part, protruding from the wall, resemble avant-corpses. The rectangular, double or triple window openings are decorated with metalwork dividing the windows into multiple sections. Inside, there are steel landings located at seven levels, communicated by means of straight-flight stairs, as well as remains of lifting mechanisms, i.e. a former multi-purpose mine lift, and a shaft of a former passenger lift. In the upper part of the “handle”, at a height of over 30 m, there are two so-called nip wheels, whereas at the head level, there are remains of two electrical hoisting machines.

The structure can only be visited from the outside.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 24-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Droń M., Dokumentacja konserwatorska wieży wyciągowej szybu Krystyna dawnej KWK Szombierki w Bytomiu przy ul. Zabrzańskiej 7, Bytom 2004, Archiwum WUOZ.
  • Tomala M., Prejs E., Rewaloryzacja szybu Krystyna w Bytomiu, „Archivolta” 2009, nr 2, s. 46-52.
  • Wiloch R., Dawna kopalnia węgla kamiennego „Szombierki” w Bytomiu - rys historyczny, [w:] Wiadomości konserwatorskie województwa śląskiego 5. Zabytki Przemysłu i techniki, red. M. Lachowska, Katowice 2013.
  • Zabytki Sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, red. S. Brzezicki, C. Nielsen, Warszawa 2006.

General information

  • Type: mine
  • Chronology: 1928 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Zabrzańska 7, Bytom
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district Bytom, commune Bytom
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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