Zieleniewski Forge

The forge is the oldest preserved part of the Ludwik Zieleniewski Machine and Instrument Factory, active in the years 1856 – 1886. This plant, which was the first industrial plant in Kraków, specialised in production of agricultural and industrial machinery. The main, single-floor building was located at the intersection of św. Marka and św. Krzyża Streets. The owner's palace, built after 1886 next to the factory, has also been preserved.

Ludwik Zieleniewski was one of the first Kraków entrepreneurs who decided to do business outside the guild system. He managed to persuade Count Adam Potocki of Krzeszowice to join the enterprise and thanks to the landowner's capital – a loan for 17 000 gold florins granted for 40 years, he managed to build a new plant at św. Marka Street. In 1851, he began production of agricultural machinery and equipment for industry there, although he did not acquire the license for production of industrial machines until two years later.

In the plant he installed one of the first steam engines in Kraków, of 12 hp power, which propelled the lathe for machining of iron, brass and wood, as well as drill, planer and a nail gun. The factory had 7 blacksmith workstations, 14 ironwork workshops, a carpentry workshop and a lathe workshop. The first models of machines that were to be produced and the first specialists were brought by Zieleniewski from Germany. In 1857, a foundry was also constructed and opened.

The factory manufactured machinery and equipment for mining and equipment for breweries and refineries. As the Imperial - Royal Preferred Agricultural Machine and Tool Factory of Ludwik Zieleniewski, it received numerous medals at national and international exhibitions.

After an 1886 factory fire, the sons of Ludwik built a new factory at Krowoderska Street, from where in the early twentieth century it was Moved to Grzegórzki. There, in the inter-war period, it became one of the key branches of an international metal and machine concern.

The one-floor building on the crossroads of św. Krzyża and św. Marka Streets was the main body of the factory. After the fire, an apartment building was constructed there. An integral part of the complex is the manufacturer palace, directly adjacent to the factory (31 św. Marka Street) with an inner courtyard and a garden, preserved to this day. The entrance to the courtyard and the factory area was possible only through the gate at św. Marka Street, and the forge door at św. Krzyża Street is from a later period. The surviving part of the factory consists of the forge - one of the last one-floor buildings in the centre of Kraków, located at 16 św. Krzyża Street. Constructed on a square plan, with a distinctive powerful forge chimney in the central part, it is covered with a gable ridge roof. Forge on one side was adjacent to the main body of the factory, and on the other, to the south, to the hall of the first steam engines. After the fire the forge was converted into a workshop.

The structure is currently unavailable for visiting.

More information:

W. Saryusz-Zaleski, Dzieje przemysłu w B. Galicji 1804-1929 ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem historii rozwoju S.A. Zieleniewski i Fitzner-Gamper, Kraków 1930

E. Wyka, B. Krzaczyńska, Zieleniewscy i ich zakłady 1804-1945. katalog wystawy Muzeum Inżynierii Miejskiej w Krakowie, Kraków 2000

B. Książek, Skrócona ekspertyza konserwatorska urbanistyczno-architektoniczna zespołu obiektów pałacowo-fabrycznych wraz z zabytkowym założeniem wewnętrznego dziedzińca i ogrodu położonego w północno-wschodniej ćwiartce bloku krakowskiego otoczonego ulicami Św. Marka, Św. Krzyża, św. Tomasza i szpitalną, mps Kraków 2002 – w zbiorach Muzeum Inżynierii Miejskiej w Krakowie