Technical monument

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A technical monument is a monument that represents an aspect of the history of technology .

Electricity Museum in Portugal, technical monument

To the subject

The technical monument documents an extraordinary technical achievement, not in the sense of a work of technology, but as a testimony to technical achievements in production , the distribution of goods and traffic .

The technical monuments include:

The extended environment of economic and social history includes monuments of agriculture and peasant production (historic farms ), trade , handicrafts and other trades ( workshops , sales rooms , storage rooms ), as well as the living environment of the trades ( mansions , workers' settlements , allotment gardens , ...)


The awareness that the works and applications of technology - in addition to the obvious achievements of the " fine arts " - also belong to the cultural achievements , developed relatively early. Industrial archeology in the sense of researching technical developments and achievements begins as early as the 18th century, even before the concept of industrial revolution arises. In 1794, the first technical museum was founded in Paris with the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers . During the middle of the 19th century, the preservation of monuments and the documentation of technical objects - also with the spread of photography - experienced a great boom. In view of the advancing industrialization, the engineering profession in particular endeavored to save technical systems that were no longer in use from being forgotten. After the foundation of the Deutsches Museum in Munich as the first museum focused purely on science and technology, numerous similar institutions followed in other countries. The first open-air museum was founded in Stockholm in 1891, followed by Oslo and Copenhagen in 1902 . During this time, the maintenance of technical monuments began to develop beyond the museum collection and display of movable monuments. Historical technical buildings are now being tried to be preserved in their entirety and in their ancestral location, which once provided the power sources for the company or the raw materials for their products.

The destruction and reconstruction of the wars, which particularly affected the sites of industrial production, are bringing the value of outdated technology back into the public consciousness - due to its abruptly increasing rarity. The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust industrial park ( Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge in Shropshire) was established in 1968 in Severn Valley , a milestone in the history of applied technology, and in 1973 the first international congress of industrial archeology was also held. This new drive led to the recognition of the concept of industrial heritage by the Council of Europe in 1984.

Since then, the term “technical” monument in the sense of an outstanding engineering achievement in construction and aesthetics (“ engineering skill ”) has changed from a concept of aestheticism to a contemporary testimony to economic history and, moreover, social history in connection with technical progress. In the context of the “story of the little man” ( everyday history , micro-history ), the preservation of technology also extends to small businesses and rural life, and with oral history also to the preservation of testimonies to the experience of technology and its change in society.


Austria, where the Kk Central Commission for the research and preservation of architectural monuments , today's Federal Monuments Office , was established as early as 1850 , is following international developments. In 1908 the Technical Museum for Industry and Commerce , now the Vienna Technical Museum, was established in Vienna . Just two years after the 1923 Monument Protection Act was enacted, a department for economic- historical and technical cultural monuments was formed at the Monument Office - initially on a voluntary basis , today as a department for technical monuments . Important achievements in the early preservation of technical monuments were the protection of parts of the Knights of Gegha Railway on the Semmering in 1923 (comprehensive confirmation 1997, UNESCO World Heritage Site 1998) and the viaduct of the Linz – Budweis horse-drawn railway in Waldburg in 1928 as evidence of the history of traffic and the wheelwork IV ( Steirischer Erzberg ) in Vordernberg in Styria also in 1928 as a heavy industry. In the area of water supply , the 30 aqueducts of the I. Vienna High Spring Water Pipeline (still in operation) and the Währinger water tower of the Kaiser-Ferdinand water pipeline (1935) should be mentioned. Planning for an Austrian open-air museum began as early as 1910 in Linz, but it was not realized until 1970 in Stübing near Graz, and it documents the rural economy and small businesses throughout Austria.

With the sheets for the history of technology , (a) which have been published by the Technisches Museum Wien and the Austrian Research Institute for the History of Technology (ÖFIT) since 1932 ( sheets for the history of technology until 1939 ), monument preservation has an important periodical publication at the Institute for Art History Preservation of monuments and industrial archeology at TU Wien has been producing a monograph since 1984. (b)

However, technical monuments only play a small part in the overall extent of Austria's cultural heritage - and also its enormous economic importance: of the total of over 16,000 listed objects in Austria, only 78 (as of December 2007) have been identified, mainly in Vienna, Lower Austria, of course , Upper Austria and Styria.


Today there are already specialized training courses on monuments from the history of technology and industrial culture , such as a Master's Technical, Heritage, Territories of the Industry (M.Sc. TPTI) at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne

See also


  • Klaus Kohout: Technical monuments - a difficult chapter in the preservation of monuments in technical, economic and social history . In: Bulletin of the Association for Monument Preservation Upper Austria . No. 47 . Linz November 1993.
  • Peter Swittalek: The term “technical monument” is explained using examples from Upper Austria . In: Upper Austrian cultural magazine . Volume 32, No. 3 , 1982, pp. 43-49 .
  • Peter Swittalek: Industrial monuments and their future . In: Bulletin of the Association for Monument Preservation Upper Austria . No. 41 . Linz 1986, p. 1-5 .
  • Frederike Waentig: Monuments of technology and industry: definition and history . In: Technikgeschichte , Vol. 67 (2000), H. 2, pp. 85-110.
  • ICOMOS: Industrial and technical Heritage Bibliography . UNESCO-ICOMOS Documentation Center, Paris, July 2009 ( PDF).
  • (a)Technisches Museum Wien, Austrian Research Institute for the History of Technology (Hrsg.): Leaves for the history of technology . ISSN  0067-9127 ( - since 1932, annually).
  • (b)Manfred Wehdorn, Ute Georgeacopol-Winischhofer: Architectural monuments of technology and industry in Austria . Vienna - Lower Austria - Burgenland . tape  1 . Böhlau, Vienna / Cologne / Graz 1984, ISBN 978-3-205-07202-7 . Styria - Carinthia . tape  2 . Böhlau, Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 1991, ISBN 978-3-205-05202-9 . Tyrol - Vorarlberg . tape  3 (not yet published). Salzburg - Upper Austria . tape  4 (not yet published). ( Project details ( Memento from July 14, 2003 in the web archive )

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Definition according to A. Föhl: Bausubstanz . 1987, ISSN  0179-2857 . Quoted according to the definition of the term “technical monument”. (No longer available online.) In: Fraunhofer Information Center for Space and Building IRB, archived from the original on December 9, 2012 ; Retrieved December 7, 2008 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Lit .: Kohout: Technical Monuments . In: Bulletin of the Association for Monument Preservation Upper Austria . 1993.
  3. Commitment to technical monuments around 1900  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  4. ^ Department of Technical Monuments. Federal Monuments Office, December 6, 2008, accessed December 7, 2008 .
  5. Lit .: Swittalek: industrial monuments . 1986.
  6. Inventory of listed objects in 2006 by federal state. In: Statistics → Education, Culture → Culture → Architectural Heritage. Statistics Austria , December 18, 2007, accessed on December 11, 2007 .
  7. M.Sc. TPTI: Technical, Heritage, Territories of the Industry ,;
    Erasmus Mundus TPTI: (Technical, Heritage, Territories of the Industry): international workshop and Degree Ceremony ,, July 24, 2012