The Rademacher Forges
Active crafts in an environment of cultural history
For 350 years the Rademacher forges in Eskilstuna have made knives, scissors, needles, pins, locks, hinges, tools and nails. The first forges in the area stood ready in 1659 and constituted a part of the ironwork manufacturing of the city of Carl Gustaf, founded and named after king Karl X Gustav.
Today, the area is a place where craft and tradition are kept alive. Here you can find active craftsmen as well as museum and exhibitions.
The museum smithy
The Berglind forge exhibit the rooms it would have contained in the 17th century consisting of a forge and living quarters. The forge was in use up until 1925 when the last hinge-smith, master Skog, retired. Open to the public during July and August.
The outdoor exhibit, Stål, kål och nål
(steel, cabbage and needles) show the historical background to the creation of the Rademacher forges.
In the Spångberg forge you will find Smetuna, an educational environment where children up to ten years of age can play at being smiths, apprentices, journeymen and their families of the 1850s. Open to the public during July and August.
The exhibition Eskilstunatillverkat
(Made in Eskilstuna) shows objects which have been forged by hand and products from the many factories in the city. Open to the public during July and August.
The exhibition Spår och fragment
(Traces and fragments) shows a range of objects which have been found under floor-tiles, in attics and hidden in walls during renovation work. The exhibition is open to the public during the opening hours of the café.
In 1671, around 180 people lived in the twenty dwellings. About half were Germans, Finns and Walloons, the rest were Swedes. These hammering, bawdy, bread-making, beer-brewing, child bearing, unruly, filing, completely ordinary citizens are brought to life in old court records. This is an outdoor exhibition and can be visited at any time.
Reinhold Rademacher who ran ironwork manufacturing in Livonia was tempted to Sweden by the king in order to develop Swedish forging skills.
The royal architect Jean de la Vallée designed a plan for the site including 120 smithies built in stone. In actual fact 20 wooden smithies were built in connection to housing and outbuildings.
Nearby was land for grazing animals and growing crops of root vegetables etc. Every smithy had apprentices and journeymen so it could get rather crowded in the living quarters.
In 1906 the first museum in Eskilstuna was opened in one of the smithies. Over time the area has developed into a cultural reserve were crafts and traditions are kept alive.
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