This area around Deutschfeistritz and Peggau in Styria was for centuries celebrated for the products of its smiths, and particularly for the manufacture of scythes. The first gild of scythe makers in Upper Austria was established in 1502, and six forges were still working in the region as late as 1975.
The earth 19th century scythe forge of Johann Pachernegg worked until 1984 and was designated an historical monument the following year. A programme of conservation commenced the following year, and the building was opened as a museum in 1991. The complex includes six water wheels powering hammers and other machinery, and the forge fires continue to be fuelled with charcoal. Scythe manufacture is a complex process involving more than 30 distinct phases, all of which are demonstrated in the restored forge. The building is also used for a variety of events including theatrical productions, exhibitions and educational seminars.