The Govăjdia furnace is considered to be the oldest continuous casting furnace in Europa that has been said to make steel for the Eiffel tower. The ruins can be seen even to this day, however, not a lot of people know that the furnace was built at the request of the Austrian Tezauriat to replenish the iron production in the Hunedoara county and be considered as an important position on the Empire's market.
A mini siderurgical plant!
The Govăjdia furnace was created because of the rising demand for iron in the Transylvanian market, in a period when blacksmiths could not keep up with modern technology. Ex-director of Combinatul Siderurgic Hunedoara, author of the book "Istoria uzinei de fier - Hunedoara, Eisenmarkt, Vajdahunyad", claims that the furnace wasn't just producing cast iron, it was a true mini siderurgical plant. It preheated the air blown into the furnace, had a foundry with specific aggregates for melting, a sector for preparing and burning the minerals from Ghelar, another energetic sector with dams, aductions and turbines for producing electric energy, stations to transmit the energy and a sector only for transporting the materials through railroads.
Why was it build?
At the beginning of the 1800s the administration of Hunedoara county, under the name of "Eisenwerkes und Herrschafts Administration", receives instructions from the Sibiu Tezauriat to reduce the activity of workshops in near the Cerna's river valley. The authorities are asked to find a solution for the processing of iron which was in abundance, taking into account the amount of wood required for melting and burning and the water needed for dams, aductions and turbines. Because of that, in 1802, an order was issued to study and find a solution to this problem by building a new furnace. The authorities were required to place the furnace in such a way that the best minerals could be used in the longest term possible.
The gigantic oven, perfect for quality!
Romulus Ioan states that after a closer inspection of the geography, local resources and transport possibilities the chief of Sibiu Tezauriat along with the inspector of Hunedoara workshops are left with two choices: either build the furnace at Limpertul Vechi, a place where a blacksmith workshop was placed where the river Govăjdia meet the Runcului valley, or on Cernei's valley in the place,near the Topliţa furnace, where a workshop called "Baia Cerna" was found. The Hunedoara administration decided to go with their first variant, considering the fact that Govăjdia was closer to the minerals veins at Ghelari compared to the Topliţa furnace. On the other hand, supplying the Topliţa furnace with charcoal was almost compromised due to forests being decimated as a result of the immense exploitation which lasted more than 50 years. The Hunedoara's Administration notice was approved by the Sibiu Tezaureat and thus the basis of the most important furnace was laid.
A patrimony furnace, 16 kilometres near Corvinilor Castle.
Some years ago, the Ghelari administration announced that they intend to tie the furnace to the Corvinilor Castle with a "mocăniţă" that would use the road infrastructure. The train would use the asphalt roads because most of the bridges that offered continuity through a railroad were cut down and taken to scrap metal. It was a period of "chaos" in hunedorian economy. The train would replace the whole railroad track that would lead to the embankment near the Corvinilor Castle and lead to the furnace which many have said that it produced iron for the Eiffel tower. Unfortunately, this train was never built and remained as an idea to this day. So, if you want to visit the furnace, after visiting the Corvinilor Castle, exit Hunedoara towards the Cinciș lake and go upwards on the stream of Cerna until Teliucu Superior village. Once there, turn right at the main intersection of the village, to Govăjdia. After that, you only have 10 kilometres left through a splendid valley and wooded slopes until you find the Govăjdia furnace.