Characteristics and location

The more than 800 years old smelter R&D location Muldenhütten is located approx. 3 km southeast from Freiberg directly on the eastern bank of the Freiberger Mulde River. The area belongs to Freiberg since 2012. The location is divided into the developed industrial area Muldenhütten in the south from the public road in Muldenhütten and the area at Shaft Furnace I, which mainly consists of unused heritage buildings in the northern part of Muldenhütten.

The still existing historical and heritage ironworks buildings as well as their partially preserved technical facilities, make the location one of the oldest non-ferrous metal metallurgy locations in Germany. The ensemble includes buildings from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries.

The Pattinson Smelter and the Shaft Furnace Building are of the historical relevance for the recomine project. These buildings are part of the site at Shaft Furnace I of the historic smelter complex. The mineral building material (plaster, mortar), the dust and the floors of the shaft furnace building and the Pattinson Smelter are heavily contaminated with pollutants such as As, Pb, Cd, Cu and Zn, which come from the smelting of Freiberg ores (Darbinjan , 2017).

Objects of investigation

  • Social and cultural valorization
  • Sustainable use of the Pattinson Smelter and the shaft furnace building
  • Development and testing of a decontamination of the heritage location
  • Testing of the cooperation between heritage preservation, science, SMEs and municipalities


Projects and activities in Muldenhütten

Over the years, various re-use concepts have been developed for the Muldenhütten R&D location and specifically for the Shaft Furnace Building and Pattinson Smelter, most of which have been discarded. The following projects are:

  • Project seminar by Viennese students: Development of ideas for an environmental and cultural center as well as a swimming pool in connection with the industrial ensemble Muldenhütten
  • Usage concept, which envisages museum and gastronomic uses in the Pattinson Smelter and zinc desilvering
  • Concept for an environmental and cultural center
  • Concept of a swimming pool in connection with an industrial ensemble
  • Concept for a gastronomic use

Social and cultural potential

The potential of the R&D location Muldenhütten lies above all in cooperation between historic preservation, science, SMEs and municipalities, methods for the value and sustainable handling of contaminated monument locations can be developed and tested in a pilot project.

Due to the large number of comparable locations available worldwide, Muldenhütten can set standards and serve as a benchmark. Potential re-use concepts have to be developed with respect to the world heritage status of the buildings.




Daniel Graf

Phone: +49 3731 39 5041