In Mongiana, an ironworks with a blast furnace and some forges was built above the Alaro River in 1761-62 to increase the production of iron and weapons in Calabria. Mario Gioffredo (1728-85) expanded the works in 1770, contributing to the development of the town. In the first half of the 19th century it became the largest ironworks in Italy. Fortunato Savino (1808-90) modified the urban structure, built workers' quarters and public buildings and expanded the ironworks: the foundry was enlarged, the production process improved and a new armoury was built with an atrium surmounted by two Doric iron columns. The factory produced weapons for the Royal Army, but also rails for the first railway of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and parts for the iron suspension bridge "Maria Cristina" over the Calore. After the factory closed in the 1870s, it was abandoned and is now one of the most important industrial archaeological sites in the country.
The MuFar 'Royal Bourbon Weapons Factory Museum', was inaugurated in the former armoury in 2013. Multimedia panels, displays, documents, models and videos explain the history of the site and the production processes. There are also mineral samples and examples of the factory's products on display. The Calabrian silk and liquorice industries are also described.
A path leads through a classical archway to the industrial archaeological sites of the foundries, blast furnaces and iron ore mines of the "Calabrian Iron and Steel Industry Park".
|Recommended duration of visit:||3-5 Hours|
|Duration of a guided tour:||180 Minutes|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||Available|
|Infrastructure for children:|
|Visitor centre on site:||yes|
|Gift and book shop on site:||yes|
Varies according to season; see website