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Altes Hüttenareal Neunkirchen

Altes Hüttenareal Neunkirchen

The Saarland steel dynasty Stumm

While the Krupp family ruled the roost in the German Ruhr area, the Stumm family was in charge in the Saarland. The cradle of their steel empire was in Neunkirchen.

In 1806, the Stumm brothers bought the humble ironworks in Neunkirchen. After their arrival, Neunkirchen became one of the most modern ironworks in the country. The Stumms set up puddling furnaces and switched from charcoal to coke to fuel the blast furnaces.

Under the leadership of their descendant, Carl Ferdinand von Stumm-Halberg, the company had its golden years. After the Franco-German War of 1870/1871, the company extended its tentacles to the annexed French region of Alsace-Lorraine. The Stumms built new blast furnaces in Uckange. Like the Krupps in the Ruhr area, their empire grew into one of the German Empire's most prominent integrated iron and steel factories at the end of the nineteenth century.

The First World War turned out less well. To compensate for the war damage suffered, French companies were given a majority stake in companies in the Saarland. The Stumms were forced out of their steel factory in Neunkirchen and the company settled in the Ruhr area, where it went under in the 1970s.

Preserved blast furnaces

The steel factory in Neunkirchen had six blast furnaces and remained operational until the end of the twentieth century. On July 29, 1982, the last stream of pig iron gushed from blast furnace II.

Blast Furnace II, built in 1969 and with a daily capacity of 1,400 tons of pig iron, was preserved together with Blast Furnace IV. It didn't stop there. As the first blast furnace in the world, it was refurbished in the 1980s with a view to its preservation. Today, both blast furnaces flank a parking lot near the city center.

Water tower

Other traces were also preserved. The water tower from 1936 was converted into a cinema with cafes and restaurants on the ground level. The water tank had a capacity of over 2,000 m³. The water was used as cooling water for the blast furnaces.

Recreation and shopping

The entire area around the steel factory was given a recreational purpose. The former wind hall houses a concert hall, while a shopping center was constructed nearby. However, the gas holder that was part of the steel mill has disappeared from the scene: it was blown up in 2020.

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