Did you know ...

that an abbot in Belgium built a blast furnace?

In 1771 Dom Nicolas Spirlet, the last abbot of the St Hubert Benedictine monastery, had the St Michael blast furnace built in the wooded area of Fourneau Saint-Michel. It was in operation until 1942. 10 years later the historic industrial site was given the status of a monument. The blast furnace is one of the best maintained furnaces of its type in Europe, and still contains a shaft, a foundry and charcoal sheds. Since 1977 the "Musée du fer" (Museum of Iron) has one of the units in the adjacent "Musee de la vie rural en Wallonie", an open-air museum containing fifty typical regional buildings.

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