There are few places in the Olpe district where historical artifacts refer so clearly to the industrial history of southern Westfalen as they do here. The smelter was spared the fate of most other facilities, which have undergone various conversions or were simply demolished. Its affiliation with the economic ventures of the Remy family of Rhenish industrialists lends the smelter additional significance.
Ore, coal and water
The production system was based on the use of three naturally available resources, namely iron ore as a raw material, charcoal as a fuel and water as a driving force for the water wheels. In its main operating units, the smelter is open to visitors, allowing them to follow the production route from the raw material iron ore to pig iron and further to the forgeable semi-finished products. Also on view is an ingenious system of ditches that ensured the water supply to the plant, thus providing motive power.
A museum for the whole family
In the modern museum, visitors learn more about the history of the plant in a permanent exhibition. And while the adults enjoy cake in the museum café, the children can explore the smelting plant.
As a technical-ecological place of learning, the Wenden smelter offers guided tours on iron history and natural history topics at any time.
In addition to the daily guided tours of the smelter, the program includes annual special exhibitions as well as monthly forging demonstrations and guided tours on natural history by arrangement.
Offers for school classes
As part of the project "Südwestfalen macht Schule" (South Westphalia goes to school), the Wenden Ironworks Museum offers an experience-oriented learning program on the topic of "Role play on the history of the Wenden Ironworks".
In addition, an accompanying booklet for chemistry lessons (Sek. I) on the subject of "Iron smelting" and further information are available on the Wenden Ironworks website. Download information material
Workshops and guided tours The museum offers various workshops lasting several days for children and young people. For adults, in addition to the guided tour of the smelter, there are also guided tours on the smelting hiking trail.
Summer: April to October Tuesdays to Sundays 3 to 6 p.m.
Winter: November to March Tuesdays to Sundays 2 to 5 p.m. (during this period ONLY the museum is open!), groups by appointment.
"On old wagoners' and charcoal burners' paths": 19 information boards accompany the hiker on an 8 km long circular hiking trail, which is easy to follow. >Information about the circular hiking trail
The Wenden Ironworks is an anchor point of the >European Route of Industrial Culture, highlight in the WasserEisenLand - Industrial Culture of Süd westfalen and place of experience of the >Iron Route of Südwestfalen.
Photos: Museum Wendener Hütte