Ironworks in the heart of the mountains

THIS POSTCARD from the 1920s depicts the former Coburg ironworks on the Červená Skala rock.It is no coincidence that a factory for iron processing was built at this location, in the heart of the mountains. The Horehronie (Upper Hron) region is defined by wooded areas and an abundance of wood was, along with hydraulic energy and, of course, rich deposits of iron ore, one of the necessary elements for the production of iron.

THIS POSTCARD from the 1920s depicts the former Coburg ironworks on the Červená Skala rock.
It is no coincidence that a factory for iron processing was built at this location, in the heart of the mountains. The Horehronie (Upper Hron) region is defined by wooded areas and an abundance of wood was, along with hydraulic energy and, of course, rich deposits of iron ore, one of the necessary elements for the production of iron.

Iron was processed first manually, then with a hammer powered by a water wheel – called a hámor. Later, the word hámor was used to describe the whole ironworks complex, including the smelting furnace. Water-powered hámors were operating on Slovak territory as early as the 1340s and the production of iron and its processing are among the oldest industries in Slovakia.

Intense mining and later frequent wars further influenced the development of metallurgy.
During the era of Ottoman invasions and anti-Habsburg revolts, metallurgy became a hugely desirable industry.

Numerous deposits of iron ore gave the mountain range its name, at the foot of which Červená Skala lies. In the Slovenské Rudohorie (Slovak Ore Mountains) in the valley of the Hron River, 11 iron mills and eight hámors operated in 1568. The Coburg ironworks was part of the Pohorelá ironworks complex. Furnaces at Červená Skala represented, together with ironworks in Pohorelská Maša, the core of the entire complex.

Today, hiking enthusiasts frequently pass through this area. From Červená Skala, it is not far to the Low Tatras, Slovenský Raj (Slovak Paradise), the Muránska Planina (Muráň Plain) and to the Slovenské Rudohorie.

The location of this crossroads is also of interest due to the fact that it lies on the border of three regions: Horehronie, Gemer and Spiš.

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