Engelsberg Ironworks in Västmanland was constructed in 1681 and developed into one of the world's most modern ironworks in the period 1700-1800. The property comprises the mansion and park, works offices, workers' homes, and industrial buildings. Engelsberg is the only ironworks in Sweden that still preserves the buildings and most of the technical equipment. Engelsberg Ironworks was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1993.
Iron production at Engelsberg goes back to the Middle Ages, when mine-owning farmers achieved efficiency in the use of the natural riches of the Bergslagen area. It was in the 18th century, however, that Engelsberg could definitely be ranked among the most important ironworks in Sweden and Europe. The works, which was ultramodern for its time, extracted and worked iron. The ore came from the Bergslagen mines, while the charcoal, which was crucial for heating the material, came from nearby forests.
Engelsberg Ironworks eventually consisted of about fifty different buildings. Besides the log-insulated smelting house and the hammer forge there is also a weighing house where the charcoal and ore were weighed. In the day workers' building, or the "inn" as it was also called, those who worked by the day could buy spirits and find accommodation. In 1917 a Lancashire forge with a rolling mill was built. The property also comprises two works offices, the gardener's house, slagstone towers, the grain store, workers' housing, and the byre. Engelsberg Ironworks is largely preserved as it looked after the last rebuilding in 1870. Particularly unique features are the blast furnace and the forge where the waterwheel, crusher, blower, and hammer still work.
For most of the eighteenth century Engelsberg Ironworks was owned by the Söderhielm family and in the nineteenth century by the Timm family. The works was sold in 1916 to Consul General Axel Ax:son Johnson, who put it under the administration of Avesta Ironworks. Three years later operations ceased. Engelsberg Ironworks is now owned by Nordstjernan AB, who restored the property in the 1970s with the aid of the National Heritage Board. In summer Engelsberg Ironworks is open to the public.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.