MÄGDESPRUNG

THE STORY OF MÄGDESPRUNG

Mägdesprung is a place that combines the past, present and future in a special way. Founded in 1645 as an ironworks, Mägdesprung developed into a famous artistic foundry. After the German Reunification in 1989, Mägdesprung experienced its decline. Since 2020, Mägdesprung is transforming into an art village.

The leap of the giantess of Mägdesprung

CHRONOLOGY

The Harz Mountains have been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Brocken became one of the most famous symbols for legends, myths and fairy tales in Europe. The "old wise" of the Harz cast the oracle with "beech sticks" and read the future from the chance of the sticks falling. According to legend, giants formed the Harz mountains and two giant kings formed the valley of Mägdesprung.

Various ores and silver have been mined in the Harz Mountains since the first millennium. Also in Mägdesprung silver mining began early and iron ore mining followed in 1646, after the Thirty Years' War.

The MÄGDESPRUNG ironworks dug deep into the Harz mountains. Soon, the MÄGDESPRUNG ironworks and its artists became famous and cast important monuments, such as the Kreuzberg monument in Berlin and the candelabra at Charlottenburg Palace. MÄGDESPRUNG itself became an "industrial monument of national importance".

Sculpture from ......

The Iron Century

From the 18th to the 19th century (the Iron Century), MÄGDESPRUNG developed into a unique community in Germany with a school, church, stores and housing for the ironworkers, at times with its own social legislation.

Mägdesprung becomes one of the most important addresses for art casting in the German Empire.
The founding of the VDI (Association of German Engineers) on 12 May 1856 in nearby Alexisbad underlines the innovative power and importance of the Harz for industrialization in Germany. Ownership changed over the centuries.

Watercolor outline etching, etched by Burckhardt, Ballenstedt, engraved by Schmidt, Dresden, published by Donati, Magdeburg

GDR 1945 – 1989

In GDR times, Mägdesprung produced gas ovens and iron casting was discontinued. Only private employees sometimes cast objects in the old, popular molds.

Aerial view of Mägdesprung around 1940

German Reunification 1989/1990

With the reassignment of the factory site (after the reunification), a sellout of all facilities and building elements of value in Mägdesprung began. This unique early industrial settlement, built with Harz slate, was left to decay and gradually abandoned by its inhabitants. Studies describing MÄGDESPRUNG as a unique architectural monument worthy of preservation were ignored.

The penultimate owners were waste management traders who brought tons of industrial waste into the village and into the decaying factory buildings; everything utilizable was taken away.

2022 Storage area for waste separation

The new Mägdesprung

In May 2019, the Berlin-based company ArteFakt bought the former Mägdesprung ironworks and has been breathing new life into the almost abandoned site ever since.
A unique community, a place of artists and ideas, of recreation and inspiration, of celebration and work is in the making.

Aerial view of the planning of DAS ORAKEL VON MÄGDESPRUNG with access routes

Tradition and history should define MÄGDESPRUNGS future. All buildings are being renovated according to historical specifications in consultation with the conservation authorities. Innovative recycling, responsible and sustainable use of nature and raw materials are core elements of the new approach to Mägdesprung.
All parts of Mägdesprung's history will be made visible and form the new, living MÄGDESPRUNG.

Planned are: Exhibitions, a museum on the history of Mägdesprung - divided into the time before 1945 and its GDR history, events such as: Opera, concerts, variety shows, workshops. The EDELRESTAURANT, beer garden, studios, a library - in cooperation with the ironworks association Carl Bischoff e.V., open-air theaters and DAS ORAKEL VON MÄGDESPRUNG.

A large multifunctional hall has already been renovated. The Palais will be ready at the end of 2024. The first events have already taken place in 2023 under the title MAGIC HARZ.

Cast-iron stag group in front of the former administration building in Mägdesprung

KUNSTWELT KULTUREREIGNISSE e.V. supports all measures to preserve and revitalize this unique architectural monument.
DAS ORAKEL VON MÄGDESPRUNG becomes a central component of the art village of Mägdesprung.

Workers casting molds in front of the surviving cupola furnaces in Mägdesprung. Copy of an oil painting. Charlotte-Christin Gruber January 2022, 140x200cm. Original around 1940 Unknown painter

We cordially invite you to to support the vision for Mägdesprung.

Photos: Historical postcards (unknown), Karlo Walz, Bonger Voges

 

NEWS

Jede letzte Woche im Monat findet ein Workcamp zur weiteren Gestaltung des ORAKEL VON MÄGDESPRUNG statt.

Every last week of the month there is a work camp to further design the ORAKEL VON MÄGDESPRUNG.

Das nächste Workcamp findet von Freitag, den 19. bis Sonntag, den 28. Juli 2024 in Mägdesprung statt. August Workcamp findet vom 19. bis 31. statt. Interessierte bitte bald Bescheid geben.

The next workcamp will take place from Friday July 19th to Sunday July 28th, 2024 in Mägdesprung. The August Workcamp will take place between the 19th and the 31st. If you are interested, please let us know soon.

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