Headframe of the “Prezydent” shaf, Chorzów
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Headframe of the “Prezydent” shaf

Chorzów

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The headframe of the “Prezydent” (“President”) shaft is highly valuable on a regional scale from historical and scientific points of view. It is one of the few reinforced concrete headframes constructed in Upper Silesia and the last surviving one. Additionally, the structure is an integral part of one of the oldest mines in the Silesian Voivodeship and an important element of the landscape, bearing testimony to the industrial history and tradition of the City of Chorzów.

History

Initially called ”Prinz Karl von Hessen’’, the mine ”Król’’ (“King”) was established on the initiative of Prussian fiscal authorities in 1791, which makes it one of the oldest mines in Upper Silesia. The first shaft, ,”Schuckamnn’’, 11 m deep, was launched in 1791; just like the next shaft, “Prinzessin’’, it was used to extract deposits from the shallow layers available under the ground. The first solutions making coal extraction more efficient were introduced as early as in 1797 in the form of a steam engine driving drainage pumps. The next modernisation stage took place in 1814, when the first steam hoisting machine was installed in the “Einsiedel” shaft. In the following years, the same solution was applied in other shafts: “Lyda’’, “Hedwig’’, “Blücher’’, and “Scharnhorst’’ (40 m deep), being the basis of the mine operation. In the early 1820s, underground horse-drawn transport was given up, and in 1821, a mining clerk called Buchbach introduced small, vertical shafts in which materials moved under gravity and whose construction involved the use of a braking mechanism. Thanks to the shafts, coal transport became faster. The 20th century brought the electrification of the plant. In 1908, the first electrically-driven hoisting machine was installed in the “Bahn II” shaft. Despite these and other improvements, in the late 1920, mining stopped being profitable in part of the plant; thus, investment activities were undertaken within Pole Wschodnie (Eastern Field), the area where the deposits were the most abundant. The main investment, implemented in the years 1929-1933, was the construction of the modern “Jacek III” shaft, 234 m deep. Following the division of the mine into a plant including the “Jacek III” shaft and the “Barbara-Wyzwolenie” (“Barbara-Liberation”) Mine, the whole complex was renamed “Prezydent Mościcki” on 17 February 1937. After World War II, the name was changed to KWK “Prezydent” (Hard Coal Mine “President”). In 1972, the “President” Mine was combined with the “Polska” Mine in Świętochłowice under the joint name KWK “Polska” (“Poland”). In 1993, the mine stopped extracting, and three years later buildings neighbouring the “President” shaft, an engine room and a sorting plant, were dismantled.

Description

The headframe of the “Prezydent” shaft is located in the centre of Chorzów, at Kościuszki Street, in the former eastern field of the “Król” Mine.

The structure, bearing modernist features, was designed by the architect Ryszard Heileman from Katowice. It is a reinforced concrete structure with one back-leg support and one pair of pulleys. The platform on which the rope pulleys rest is located at a height of 42 m. The pulleys are situated opposite each other at a distance of over 2 m. The mechanism is supported by a headframe and back-legs reinforced at the bottom by the introduction of spot footing at a distance of 21 m from the headframe axis. The headframe posts are connected by means of reinforced concrete beams at a dozen or so levels, starting from a height of 4.45 up to a height of approx. 40 m. The headframe is approx. 46 m high and the distance between the backlegs is approx. 15 m. Within the headframe, there is a metal staircase enabling tourists to access the structure.

The historical monument is freely accessible every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The “Prezydent” shaft is part of the Industrial Monument Route of the Silesian Voivodeship.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 13-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Karta Ewidencyjna Zabytków Architektury i Budownictwa, Wieża wyciągowa szybu prezydent, oprac. E. Szady, Katowice 1990, Archiwum Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków w Katowicach
  • Frużyński A., Kopalnie Węgla Kamiennego w Polsce, Łódź 2012, s. 158-160
  • Jaros J., Historia górnictwa węglowego w Zagłębiu Górnośląskim w latach 1914-1945, Katowice 1969
  • Jaros J., Historia kopalni Król w Chorzowie, Katowice 1962
  • Kurek R., Dwa wieki chorzowskiego przemysłu. Zarys monograficzny: część 1, Chorzów 2007
  • Kurek R., Dwa wieki chorzowskiego przemysłu. Zarys monograficzny: część 2, Chorzów 2009
  • Wybraniec P., Zabytki architektury przemysłowej w województwie Katowickim, Katowice 1989, s. 9-10

General information

  • Type: mine
  • Chronology: 1929-1955
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościuszki , Chorzów
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district Chorzów, commune Chorzów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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