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Remains of an industrial plant complex - Zabytek.pl


woj. świętokrzyskie, pow. kielecki, gm. Zagnańsk-gmina wiejska

An example of a monumental, carefully designed and laid out - in terms of function, space and technology - industrial complex of the 1st half of the 19th century.


The remains of the former plant are one of the technical monuments of the industry that developed in the Świętokrzyskie region over centuries. The regular industrialisation started after 1815, mainly due to the activity of Stanisław Staszic, the Rev. Drucki-Lubecki and the Bank of Poland.  The facility in Samsonów was built in that period. The foundation stone for the new plant was laid in 1818 by the governor of the Congress Kingdom of Poland, General Józef Zajączek, and the facility opened in 1823 and was renamed Józef Steelworks. Some foreign experts were behind the design and construction, among them Bogumił Schmidt and the mining specialist Frederick Lempe, and perhaps Henryk Grabkowski. The complex comprised a blast furnace with iron foundry and workshop as well as a storage and workers’ houses. In 1824 some adjustment were made to the blast furnace and the foundry was commissioned. In 1829 bellows were installed on the water wheel and steam engine, and in 1835 the blast furnace was readjusted again. The production covered pig-iron and military and utility equipment. After the fire of the blast furnace in 1866, the facility ceased its operation, and the facility began to fall into disrepair. During WWI, the hoist tower was partially destroyed in warfare. In 1922 the area of the former plant, as a "mining property with a pond and factory ruins”, was purchased from the Ministry of Industry and Trade by individual investors. In 1976 the property was purchased by the Voivodeship Conservator of Historical Monuments in Kielce for the State Treasury. In the years 1981-1983, the necessary works were carried out to secure the area as a permanent ruin. In 1995 the area of the plant became the municipal property and has remained in the possession of Zagnańsk municipality until today. 


The former blast furnace plant is located on the local Miedziana Góra-Odrowąż road, at the junction with the road to Zagnańsk. It originally consisted of a water power system, factory buildings and a residential estate. The reservoir, supplied by the Bobrza River and situated in the south-east part of the complex, was connected by means of an oblique inlet canal with the blast furnace facility; culverts were also originally there. Today, they do not exist any more, nor does the reservoir. The situation of the main complex of factory buildings, gathered around the blast furnace, was designed in a classicistic manner as noble residences of the late 18th century. This is an axial layout, with the central, dominant structure of the blast furnace and hoist tower, and the foundry and yards located farther along the axis; they are flanked by two, symmetrically arranged two-storey production buildings (model shop, drying shop, forgery, paint shop, carpentry). The blast furnace and tower were surrounded by auxiliary buildings, e.g. the coal storage, engine room (controlling the water wheel at the tower and the steam engine by the furnace); there are also inlets of technical canals running under the complex in vaulted underground tunnels. The complex had both a monumental and aesthetic character with well designed proportions. The front wall of the complex (south façade) was a seven-axis structure with a three-panel entrance in a centrally located avant-corps. The blast furnace stands on a base in the form of a cubic block with the truncated cone of the chimney placed on it (originally of considerable height); the adjacent hoist tower is higher - rectangular on the ground floor and pyramid-shaped above (originally topped with a high lantern). Currently, these buildings are in a state of permanent ruin. The layout, scale and proportions of the complex are still visible, yet the detailed architectural solutions have not been preserved. Other auxiliary factory buildings (now in ruins) were scattered on the west and north side of the complex of blast furnace; to the south, outside the yard, there was the housing estate - now only one house has remained, yet considerably altered. The buildings of the plant are made of quarry stone, and the shaft of the blast furnace is lined with bossage. The whole thing was probably plastered, and the architectural design elements were exposed. The roof truss and the ceilings (except for the vaulted basement) were made of wood, and the roofs covered with shingles. The complex is well-maintained and quite well adapted to sightseeing.

The area is partially fenced and publicly available; from Tuesday through Saturday: 8:00-4:00pm - guided tours in consultation with the nearby Tourist Information.

Compiled by Włodzimierz Pedrycz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 16.10.2014.


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Category: industrial architecture

Building material:  kamienne

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_26_ZE.25359, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_26_ZE.586