Brandenburg Industrial Museum on the Havel

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Entrance to the furnace hall of the SWB

The Brandenburg an der Havel Industrial Museum was built around the last Siemens-Martin furnace that could be preserved in Western Europe. This furnace is the center of the museum, which also documents the development of steel production and processing in the city of Brandenburg an der Havel . The museum also houses an exhibition about the Brandenburg vehicle construction company Brennabor .

The museum is an anchor point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage .

The steel location Brandenburg

A precondition for the development of steel production in Brandenburg an der Havel was good transport connections through inland waterways ( Silo Canal , Elbe-Havel-Oder connection) and railways ( Berlin – Magdeburg railway , Brandenburg city railway ). The steel scrap accumulating in the greater Berlin area was the raw material basis for the developing steelworks.


In 1912 Rudolf Weber bought the 800,000 m² site between the Silokanal, Städtebahn and Magdeburger Landstrasse in Brandenburg an der Havel and founded the Weber rolling mill. In 1914 the first two Siemens-Martin furnaces and a sheet rolling mill were in operation. In 1917, after the supply of coal was cut off, the plant was sold to the German-Luxembourgish mining and smelting company.

Weimar Period and the National Socialist Period

After the First World War , the plant was continuously expanded. In 1926 Mitteldeutsche Stahlwerke AG became part of the Flick Group . During the time of National Socialism , the expansion was continued and before and during the Second World War , armaments production was carried out around the rolling mill.

End of war and GDR

After 1945 the plant was completely dismantled. In 1947 it was a heap of rubble and scrap.

The SWB company logo

In 1950 the foundation stone was laid for a new steel mill at the old location. Under the direction of Friedrich Franz , who was given the honorary name Papa Franz by the workforce , the large hall with ten Siemens-Martin ovens was built by 1953. The furnace hall now stood parallel to the silo channel, which significantly simplified the logistics on the factory premises compared to the arrangement before 1945. A generator hall for generating generator gas from raw lignite , which initially heated the SM furnaces, was built next to it. Two more ovens were added by 1967.

The Siemens-Martin furnace XII went into operation on October 12, 1967. It was originally intended as a test furnace. With him top results should be achieved. The research assignment at the time was: "To test the new construction elements and technologies until they are ready for production and to achieve optimal performance and result indicators that are world-class for fully oil-heated SM ovens under the conditions of permanent use and oxygen use". The results should be used for the modernization of all Brandenburger SM ovens. A special feature was that Oven XII was operated with a sheet metal chimney. In 1968, however, the furnace was used as No. XII to fulfill the planning tasks and thus hindered its task as a research furnace.
It became apparent that the furnace would not achieve the planned parameters, especially in terms of furnace performance, heat consumption, furnace durability and repair times. Work was therefore continued on the development of the furnace.

Since the specified state planning requirements for the steelworks were not met, a comprehensive reconstruction of the plant began in 1970. It started with furnace XII. In 1975 all 12 furnaces in the steel and rolling mill were rebuilt. This ongoing modernization increased the efficiency of the plant.

The electric steelworks at Quenzsee, which has existed since 1980

In 1980, two electric steel furnaces went into operation in a newly developed site south of Magdeburger Landstrasse on Quenzsee . The steel and rolling mill in Brandenburg now produces up to 2.3 million tons of crude steel and over 1 million tons of rolled products annually with around 10,000 employees. It was the largest crude steel producer in the GDR .

The Brandenburg steel and rolling mill has been the parent company of the quality and stainless steel combine since 1979 . This combine comprised 33 farms. In 1980 it had around 35,000 employees, including trainees, and produced 4.67 million tons of crude steel and 3 million tons of rolled products.


Siemens-Martin furnace XII, 2006

After the fall of the Wall , the Siemens-Martin ovens were no longer competitive. In Western Europe, they had been retired since the 1960s. The Siemens-Martin ovens were gradually switched off and broken off. The last tapping took place in December 1993, and the time of the Siemens-Martin furnaces was finally over.

The electric steel mill was bought by the Italian Riva group in 1992 . It was thoroughly modernized after the purchase and continues to supply structural steel as Brandenburger Elektrostahlwerk GmbH .

The museum

In 1992 the idea of ​​an industrial museum was born. The remains of the plant were inspected and secured. In 1994 Oven XII, the last newly built and still existing oven, was listed as a historical monument. But it wasn't until 1996 that a concept for preserving the monument was found. The furnace hall, now largely gutted and renovated, was sold to the Brandenburg Recycling Park. The Association for the Promotion of the Steel Museum Brandenburg an der Havel eV leased the monument area and set up the industrial museum .

The museum's work focuses on preserving the furnace with its ancillary facilities in accordance with the monument. Workshops, vehicles and company kitchens are also presented. In an exhibition area, steel production is explained and the history of the plant is presented. The museum also has a works archive and library.

From the steelworker's apartment

The everyday life of the steelworker in the early 1950s is documented in an adjoining room. A Brennabor exhibition is shown in another room in the furnace hall.


  • Museum guide for the Brandenburg an der Havel Industrial Museum
  • Author collective: 90 years of steel from Brandenburg - contemporary witnesses report , Westkreuz-Verlag Berlin / Bonn 2005, ISBN 3-929592-80-0

Web links

Commons : Industriemuseum Brandenburg  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 52 ° 25 ′ 0.4 ″  N , 12 ° 30 ′ 21.7 ″  E