06.04.15 - Guillaume - 716lavie
Kropa is a well preserved blacksmith town because its architecture is protected. However, because it’s stuck in the valley, it’s dark all year round. People go there to see what a blacksmith town used to look like, you can go visit the museum, but the museography is getting on the old side, it’s too bad. However, it’s really interesting to check out an old workshop, talk to the museum for that.
The iron comes from the neighboring mountains, and it’s the mountain water that turns the wheel, that makes the air pump work, which heats up the oven, the cooking process has to be done at 600-700 degrees.
Back in the day, there were 20 workshops like these in Kropa. In each workshop, there were three ovens with 6 blacksmiths around each one, but there were also assistants, women, and children older than 10. The work conditions were terrible: it was very dark, and it was incredibly loud. Blacksmiths usually had birds in their homes so that their song would change all all the noise they had to deal with. A workshop had to take care 2000 nails per day minimum.
Joza Bertoncelj was Kropa’s most famous master blacksmith, he worked for Pieznik, Ljubljana’s architect. The blacksmiths from here worked for the rich Venetians ( gates, etc)