The charcoal blast furnace Barbora was established by Rudolf Count Vrbna. The construction started in 1805 and it was put into operation five years later.
In Jince, there is going on a rescue of the unique blast furnace Barbora which as the only one in Europe was preserved up to now including the adjacent buildings. Nevertheless, we were close to losing this significant technical monument. Two years ago the furnace was in such a delipidated state that there was a threat of collapse. Luckily, the present municipality is not indifferent to the historical heritage of this place. They bought the furnace from a private owner and at present, step by step, they are putting it together.
Just these days the roof reconstruction is being finished. Currently, the building site is being cleaned before a winter season. This should be finished till 7 November at latest. The repair of facade and setting the doors and windows should follow. At the same time, a project for the reconstruction of interiors and renovation of the adjacent buildings has been announced. The estimation of investment is 40 million CZK.
The experts from Norway came to see the furnace. When they saw that in the Pribram region we know how to look after technical monuments they got the green light to the project.
„It is not possible to get donations from ours or European money; we have applied for Norwegian funds where the financial means for technical monuments are appropriated. However, to apply for the donation we have to have a Norwegian partner who can assess the project. We succeeded in getting two experts who have an experience with the Norwegian funds from the whole world. In the Czech Republic they took part in two projects, in Prague and Kutna Hora,“ Josef Hala, the mayor of Jince said,
„They liked the location of the furnace in the region of long time metallurgical tradition and the fact that there is going to be a regional museum here. We showed to them also the Mining Museum in Pribram. After they saw that we know how to take care of the technical monuments they got the green light to our project,“ the mayor added.
The Norwegian experts also like the location of the furnace in the very centre of Europe. They see it as an opportunity to create a basement for the beginning craftsmen who can learn how to repair the historical monuments here.
The furnace was specialised on the casting the cast iron pipes, but also other machinery parts were produced here. It was operated till 1874. In following years, there was a saw mill, operated till 1951. Then, the buildings were used as a warehouse by local State Farm. It is on list of protected monuments of the National Conservation Institute