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U4 blast furnace

U4 blast furnace

Preserved blast furnace in Uckange

Of the six blast furnaces that the Uckange steel factory had in the early twentieth century, today, only the 71-meter-high blast furnace 4 remains.

The steel factory was founded in 1890 by the German Stumm entrepreneurial family. It was no coincidence that Germans were the founders of the company. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, the French region of Alsace-Lorraine was conquered by the German Empire. This would remain the case until the end of the First World War.

Moreover, the Stumm family was no novice in de iron industry. In the early 1800s, the Stumm brothers bought the Neunkirchen Ironworks, which they expanded into one of the most modern companies in the country. Their descendant, Carl Ferdinand von Stumm-Halberg, expanded the family empire even further, with tentacles as far as the annexed Alsace-Lorraine, specifically in Uckange.

After the German surrender in 1918, the German Empire had to relinquish the coveted Alsace-Lorraine again. The French Société Nord et Lorraine now owned the steel factory. Several buildings still standing today were built during their reign, such as blast furnace 4 from 1932-1935, the cowpers, chimney, compressor hall, foundry, etc.

Vertical lift

The coke, iron ores and other raw materials to produce pig iron were not hoisted up at blast furnace 4 via an inclined plane in so-called skips, but in a vertical lift. The elevator was connected to the top of the blast furnace via a passerel. The raw materials were ultimately poured into the oven at the top.


There was no shortage of raw materials at the time. The Uckange steelworks was located in the middle of the Lorraine steel basin and was supplied with Minette, the iron ore mined in the south of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and in the north of Lorraine. However, exploitation came to an end in the 1960s, making the location of Uckange less favorable.

Blast furnaces extinguished

From then on, the iron ores and, later, the coal were brought in from elsewhere via the Moselle. The result was an economic devastation in the landscape, including in Uckange. One blast furnace after another was extinguished and demolished from 1964 onwards; the last iron production occurred on December 17, 1991.

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