The Blasting Furnaces – Leszczyna next to Złotoryja

Leszczyna is a small village located in the Prusicki Stream valley and the tributary of Leszczynka on the Pogórze Złotoryjskie. Nowadays, it is situated in the “Chełmy” Landscape Park. The first notice concerning Leszczyna, which is situated in so called the Old Copper Field, dates back to 1390.
The copper ore exploitation was started in the XVI century and then it was continued in 1661 and 1736. There were four adits, four shafts, a washery and a mill created but they had worked only until 1740. The copper was excavated in 1774. No sooner than in 1855 the mine “Stilles Gluck” (Silent Happiness) was opened. The ore was excavated manually from a heavily fractured rock neither without fire crushing nor the usage of explosives. There were between 3.5 and 10 thousand tons of ore extracted in the mine. The mine was closed in 1883 due to the falling copper prices. In 1866 a new mill was built with the two rotary furnaces of Mansfeld’s type, which were replaced in 1872 with the shaft furnaces equipped in a water cooling system. There were 61 kilograms of a pure copper obtained out of 130 kilograms of a “copper stone” extracted from 5 tons of ore.
Between 1936 and 1944 there was an underground copper mine (210 meters) operating in the nearby Wilków but it was flooded in 1945. After it was drained and reopened in 1950 as a “Lena” mine, it became the first copper mine in Poland. However, it was closed in 1973 and afterwards it was operating as the Mining Devices Plant until 1995.
The furnaces resemble two round towers, which are connected with one another and are 11 and 9 meters high. In 1992 the Museum of Copper in Legnica reconstructed the furnaces and adapted them to the commercial tourism use. Because of that, they do not longer resemble the original shape. Furthermore, the original parts left are the connected furnaces’ frames with their tops lined with lining. The tap holes are also visible.There is a viewing point located at the top of the furnaces. On the other hand,  one  can  also  see the  former copper mill buildings  in  the surrounding area. 

Since 2000 the Złotoryjskie Society of the Mining Traditions (established in 1999) has been organizing in June and next to the furnaces a fair called the “Dymarki Kaczawskie”. The society also organizes an all-year-round museum of the medieval mining and metallurgy. One can strike here a coin, forge a horseshoe or prepare a pancake by grinding grain with querns. There is a three kilometers long didactic path called the “Synklina Leszczyny”, which surrounds the area. There are 17 stops on the path that indicate not only the interesting natural wonders but also the relics of the old-time mining (for instance one can admire the gypsum kilns, the remains of the copper mill, the exploratory shafts, the stone-pits, the adit traces).

Edited by Ivo Łaborewicz
Translation: Andrzej Rudkowski

www.dymarkikaczawskie.pl
www.gorykaczawskie.pl/pl/131/Dymarki-Kaczawskie
www.skps.wroclaw.pl/encyklopedia/index.php5?title=Leszczyna
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leszczyna_%28wojew%C3%B3dztwo_dolno%C5%9Bl%C4%85skie%29

Bibliography:

Piotr Norko, Zofia Fiks-Mosoń, Sebastian Grzyb, Góry i Pogórze Kaczawskie. Moje miejsca w dolinie Kaczawy, Świerzawa 2003;
Eufrozyna Piątek, Zygfryd Piątek, W dymarkowym tyglu. Tygiel wielu kultur, Złotoryja [2002];
Edward Wiśniewski, Leszczyna. Park Krajobrazowy „Chełmy” na Pogórzu Kaczawskim, Legnica 1994;
Słownik geografii turystycznej Sudetów, t. 7 Pogórze Kaczawskie, pod red. Marka Staffy, Wrocław 2002;

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