Saturday, May 31, 2014

Der Schmied von Salzburg, Österreich

Ich war im Salzburg. Yes, you see, I studied abroad in Austria, and throughout my journey through history and culture, I experienced many unique things. Food, culture, music, distinctive garb- I experienced it all. And, to top off my four month adventure, my family came with me and we toured some of the smaller towns and villas of beautiful Austria. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Ja, wir sprechen Deautsch schleckt.

Salzburg was our first major city we toured. We saw churches, monuments, fountains and more, beautifully crafted by centuries-old masters of all trades. Atop the crest of the hill adjacent, we trekked to the Festhung Hohensalzburg. This fortress is older than dirt, pretty much, and contains more history than you can shake a stick at. Anyone who has been up in it knows what I am talking about. From the top, you can glimpse the gorgeous alps. My main point of interest, however, was in the blacksmith shop.

This shop had very little information on it, but I could tell several things from the sight. First of all, the anvil stood proud, as a prime example of the German double horn church window styled anvils. A small cone stood in the hardie hole, telling of the chains forged here to contain prisoners.
This bad boy has certainly seen some age. Atop the anvil is a round punch, and at its base are many sledges for heavier work. 

The forges were interesting, for sure. There were two, it appeared. One against the window, and one at the mouth of this small round room. They were both fed by the same great bellows. The one by the window seems to have vented the smoke right out the side of the castle, while the one by the door had a hood overhead, made from stone. Many old tongs and hammers lay on top of these old masonry forges, and an assortment of tools hung from above. 
Hanging from above are a number of nail and bolt headers, as well as some obligatory horseshoes, to complete the atmosphere. The great bellows is seen in the background.

An up-close view of the tools on top of the table. Hammers, hot-cutters, tongs and more are strewn about, much like a busy day in any forge. Who needs organization anyways? 

And lastly,
The shop as a whole. The anvil stands proudly in the center, surrounded by the forge in the back, the one to the right side and the hammer rack to the left. Also seen is a block-and-tackle. Noticeably absent is a post-vise. This shop dates back from times before the widespread use of the vises. (actually, the vice of drinking was invented, but we'll save that for another day...) 

Truly a unique shop, all part of a beautiful trip to the salty city of Salzburg! 

Auf Wiedersehen, meine Freunde!