It was quite common in the 17th century for citizens in the Mälaren valley to invest in the iron industry. The first bar-iron forge at Trångfors was established in 1628 by Adolf Willemson, a merchant from Västerås. It started off small, with just three workers.
In the latter half of the 18th century, the Strömsholm canal cut straight across the Trångfors estate and the old manor house had to be pulled down. The existing forge was built in 1799. Good use was made of the water from the canal: an enclosed timber trough from the canal provided water power for the forge hammer. When the Lancashire method was introduced in 1875, production rose sharply and peaked in 1900 at an annual output of 3,100 tonnes. But by 1915, the forge had been closed down.
One of the four Lancashire furnaces has been restored, and work is under way on the water-wheel and trough. The mumbling hammer has been given a new base. In time, the intention is to be able to demonstrate the pig-iron refining process and mixing of the melt in the forge.
A congenial room with a cosy open fire is available for hire for private functions and meetings. It has been set up in the former spark-machining workshop next door to the forge.
A room above the forge, which used to be a rest room for the forge workers between shifts, has now been converted into a meeting room. The murals on the walls were painted by Gunnar Hall. Next door to that is the charcoal storehouse, which dates from 1800. The charcoal wagons ran straight in here and tipped their load from the ramps at the top of the furnace.
The Trångfors power station on the other side of the river was built in 1898–9 by a firm of consulting engineers, Qvist & Gjers, of Arboga. A water trough was built at the side of the waterfall and it carried the water over a distance of several hundred metres to the works. The power station operated until 1988 and is now a museum. The original equipment has been preserved. The station has six horizontal turbines each generating an output of 400 hp. The generators were manufactured by ASEA and were awarded the “Grand Prix” at an international industrial exhibition in Paris in 1900.
Every August, there is a Trångfors open day when the building is open to visitors, who can also watch barges being locked through on the canal.References:
Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.
The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.
In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.
Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.
About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.
Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.
A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.