Royal Prussian iron foundry

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Royal Prussian iron foundry
legal form State enterprise
founding 1796
resolution Late 19th century
Seat Gleiwitz and Berlin
Branch Metal industry

The Königlich Preußische Eisengießerei (KPE) was a state enterprise founded on behalf of the Prussian State by Friedrich Wilhelm Graf von Reden (1752–1815) with two operating parts, the older one in Gleiwitz from 1796 and the younger one in Berlin from 1804 . Both parts of the company were closed at the end of the 19th century.


View of the Royal Iron Foundry Berlin

In order to set up a state-owned iron foundry based on the model of the first Prussian iron foundry, Prussia acquired the grinding and polishing mill on the Panke in 1803 on an area in front of the Oranienburger Thor . With the following layout and names of streets, the manufactory then had the address Invalidenstrasse  92, today number 43 near Chausseestrasse .

In 1804, two crucible furnaces and a cupola furnace went into operation in this royal iron foundry in Berlin . In the same year, cast goods (excluding small parts) weighing 384.5 kg were cast. In the following year, production increased to 771.5 kg, the number of workers rose from 6 to 24. In addition to iron crosses , weights, tubes, rollers, stamps, kettles and chains, bridges, military equipment, monuments and the first two were also used German steam locomotives manufactured. From 1822 to 1838 bronze was also cast and from 1833 zinc. In the following decades the factory district of Tierra del Fuego was built in the neighborhood .

National monument on the Kreuzberg from 1821

The memorials cast by the KPE were, for example, the national memorial for the wars of liberation on the Kreuzberg by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the grave monument for Gerhard von Scharnhorst , planned by Schinkel with an iron lion by Christian Daniel Rauch . The grave crosses , which can still be found regularly in Berlin's historic cemeteries, also come from this iron foundry. In the 19th century, the term Fer de Berlin established itself for all these art objects far beyond Berlin .

Steam car

Factory drawing of the second steam car

Here in 1815 Johann Friedrich Krigar built a copy of John Blenkinsop's steam locomotive for the Königshütte in Upper Silesia . When the machine, which had been delivered in individual parts to Gleiwitz, arrived on October 23, 1816, it turned out that the gauge did not match the track used. In addition, the steam power turned out to be too weak for rail use. Even after a conversion, a drive on a test track did not show any convincing results. The machine was then used as a stationary steam engine at a zinc smelter . A second, larger locomotive was completed for the Saarland in 1817 and delivered to Völklingen by water via Hamburg and Amsterdam in February 1819 . Despite some improvements and test drives, it did not meet the operational expectations either.

Invalidenstraße 43 today, on the right a memorial plaque

The foundry was in operation until 1874, the last casting took place on January 5th. After the company was dissolved in 1878, the premises at Invalidenstrasse 43 and 44 fell to the Prussian State Geological Institute . For this state facility, a monumental, multi-wing new building was built, which later received additional users several times: in the GDR era, the Ministry of Geology was located in the south wing , while the natural history museum was located in the main wing (opened in 1889). After the reunification and the Bonn / Berlin law on government relocation, the south wing was rebuilt and is part of the Federal Ministry of Transport .


  • Schreiter, Pyritz (ed.): Berliner Eisen. The royal iron foundry of Berlin. Wehrhahn, Hannover 2007, ISBN 978-3-86525-039-1
  • Marcel Piethe: The royal iron foundry in Berlin. In: The Mark Brandenburg. Issue 91, 2013 / IV. Marika Groszer Verlag Berlin. ISBN 978-3-910134-65-2
  • The former royal iron foundry in Berlin . In Gießerei-Zeitung , Volume VII, 1910

Web links

Commons : Fer de Berlin  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Iron foundry, Königl. In: CF Wegener: House and General Address Book of the Royal. Capital and residence city Berlin , 1822, part 2, p. 12.
  2. ^ Iron foundry, royal. In: General housing indicator for Berlin, Charlottenburg and surroundings , 1830.
  3. Special supplement to the German Reichs-Anzeiger and Königlich-Prussischen Staats-Anzeiger, No. 40 of October 9, 1875