A metallurgical plant complex, currently the Museum of Metallurgy and Machine Industry in Chlewiska, Branch of the Museum of Technology and Industry in Warsaw, Chlewiska
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A metallurgical plant complex, currently the Museum of Metallurgy and Machine Industry in Chlewiska, Branch of the Museum of Technology and Industry in Warsaw

Chlewiska

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The metallurgical plant complex presents historical, scientific and artistic values. The feature represents an example of industrial architecture from the late 19th century. The preserved blast furnace is the only object of such type in Poland and one of the very few on the continent. It was the last melting furnace in Europe fired by charcoal. An unique architectural form of the feature is reminiscent of the Romanesque Revival style.

History

The steel mill in Chlewiska was built in 1892 by the French Metallurgical Society. It consisted of a blast furnace, three ore burners, a hoist tower and a mechanical workshop. In the years 1895-1912 the plant belonged to the Plater family. Later, it was taken over by the joint-stock commercial and industrial company “Elibor” and shortly before World War II it was leased by “Pokój” Mill. In 1940 the plant was taken over by the Germans and stopped operating as the last object of this type in Central Europe. In the years 1945-55 the blast furnace complex remained out of operation. Various companies operated in the buildings; among others, agricultural machines and fencing net were manufactured here. In spite of the above, the feature gradually dilapidated. In the late 1950s the plant was taken over by the Museum of Technology in Warsaw. The most recent restoration works were carried out in the years 2008-2010.

Description

At present, the historic complex consists of production and auxiliary buildings, arranged in a technological chain. There is a lodge, an entry weight at the gate, and slightly in the back, there is a laboratory and an administrative building. Behind them, there is a forge and workshops. Further, on the left side, there are three furnaces to burn ore and a retaining wall supporting the earthen structure. Opposite, a blast furnace complex was located, connected with a headframe, a blower and heater hall as well as a foundry hall with a cupola oven. The features were made of split stone with details made of brick (except for a wooden part of the weight building).

Water was fed to the plant through a masonry underground duct from a reservoir created on the tributary of the Szabasówka river as well as from nearby ponds and wells. The iron ore was transported here from a mine located near Skłoby and in 1922 the horse-drawn transport was replaced by a narrow-gauge railway. Charcoal obtained through carbonisation of wood served as fuel for the mill. The ore, after being burned in three furnaces, was transported to a blast furnace by means of a water lift and poured from the top at the height of 20 m to the shaft through a “gichta” opening. Blowers and heaters were used to reach and maintain high temperature to smelt iron. A blower from the Warsaw-based Count A. Zamoyski Machine Factory is a valuable and unique industrial monument from the turn of the 19th and 20th century. Pig iron obtained in the smelting process was poured into moulds located in a pattern shop.

In some of the historic buildings, apart from the exhibition of metal processing machines, the most popular cars and motorcycles of the 20th century are presented. Since 2002 the ‘Iron and Steel Festival” has been organised at the museum, including a presentation of iron smelting in a bloomery.

The feature can be viewed after purchasing a ticket. The price includes a guided tour around the mill.

Compiled by Bartłomiej Modrzewski, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw,14-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • D. Słomińska-Paprocka, Powiat szydłowiecki w województwie mazowieckim, Szydłowiec 2009.
  • Strona internetowa Muzeum Hutnictwa i Przemysłu Maszynowego w Chlewiskach, http://chlewiska.mtip.pl/, dostęp: 14.11.2014.

General information

  • Type: factory
  • Chronology: 1890-1892
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Szkolna 34, Chlewiska
  • Location: Voivodeship mazowieckie, district szydłowiecki, commune Chlewiska
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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