Smelter Barbora – history

The cultural monument smelter Barbora is the most important and most comprehensive technical monument of the older era of blast furnace pig iron production in the Czech lands, but also in Europe. It is the last surviving walloon furnace.

The construction of the blast furnice Barbora began in 1805, when Count Rudolf Vrbna bought the estate in Jince and began its construction. The Barbora blast furnace had been built for almost five years.

The smelter remained in operation from 1810 until 1874, when, like other iron smelters succumbed to competition with modern metallurgy. In 1886, a water-wheel-driven sawmill was set up in the rear wing of the building, which remained in operation until 1951.

Between 1951 and 2017, the smelter was used by various companies for various purposes. Examples include a dormitory, hay storage, dump, etc. The building was left to its own fate and slowly headed towards its demise.

At the end of 2017, the Township Jince decided to buy the Barbora smelter from private owners and in 2019 acquired a new roof for the smelter, which prevented further destruction of the monument.

In cooperation with the Orlov Ecological Centre, a project to save this monument was developed in 2020. This project has been approved and started by 1st April 2021.

The smelter Barbora when it was bought from a private owner (the roof was leaking and the monument was in danger of collapsing).

Indoor space after the purchase of a cultural monument.

Condition after purchase, when the roof could have collapse.

The Jince municipality decision to save the cultural monument Barbora smelter began with the necessary replacement of the roof and roofing to prevent the roof from collapsing and further leaking into the building.

Beginning of repairs of tower and the roof

Repair procedure

The condition after the monument was saved and a hint of its beauty.

Fixed roof and smelter’s tower

A very important step has been taken to save a building of European importance and a cultural monument of the Czech Republic. We have a long way to go to restore it, but as you can see from the documentation, the Jince Township is serious about it.