Romanian blast furnace used to make Eiffel Tower cast iron to be rehabilitated

The blast furnace from the village of Govajdie, the western Hunedoara county, famous for having made the cast iron needed to make several strength elements of the Paris Eiffel Tower will be rehabilitated and turned into a tourist attraction under a project on non-repayable funding put at 1.5 million euros.

Eiffel TowerThe project was worked out by the Town Hall of Ghelari rural town, of which Govajdie is part and it will be financed under the Regional Operational Programme after a public tender for the rehabilitation works is held.

'We plan to start the furnace rehabilitation works in this spring and wrap them up in the autumn. The ceiling of the shed where the blast furnace is located will be repaired, the foundation will be repaired and the walls will be reinforced. Furthermore, the old Govajdie railway station will be restored on the original model from the year 1800', said Ghelari mayor Ioan Bulbucan.

Also part of the project is the upgrading of Govajdie traditional cultural club, which is going to be turned into the Iron Museum. The museum will host 3D-images of the blast furnace at various times of its existence.

The tourists interested in seeing the sites will be taken to Govajdie by a narrow-gauge train. They will visit the medieval Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, Ghelari Orthodox Cathedral - the only one in a Romanian community -, an iron mine, the furnace and the Iron Museum.

Govajdie blast furnace was commissioned in 1806, being the first such furnace in the world to use a continuous cast iron production process. The furnace was built at Ghelari since it was close to the iron ore deposits in Poiana Rusca Mountains.

The furnace worked at utmost capacity over 1871-1889. The quality of the iron cast made there prompted its use for manufacturing several strength elements of the Tour Eiffel in Paris.

After the Hunedoara Iron Works opened, the furnace gradually grew derelict, with the last repair being made during World War One. While the shed ceiling and walls have become dilapidated, the furnace itself has kept in good condition.


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