Iron-making, Mining and Palaeontologic Collection in Bucelleni-Ruard Manor, Jesenice


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Železarska in paleontološka zbirka v Ruardovi graščini, Jesenice
Cesta Franceta Prešerna 45, SI-4270 Jesenice
Phone386 (0) 4 583 3500
Fax386 (0) 4 583 3499
Managed byUpper Sava Valley Museum, Jesenice
Irena Lačen Benedičič, Director

The Iron-making, Mining and Palaeontologic Collection in Bucelleni-Ruard Manor, Jesenice, established in 1954, is part of the Upper Sava Valley Museum, Jesenice, which has its headquarters in the same manor house. The museum is closed for the renovation and will reopen in December 2020.


Bucelleni-Ruard Manor, built in 1538 in Stara Sava in Jesenice, when the ironworks were dislocated from the nearby Planina pod Golico, was once the centre of the Upper Sava ironworks, for the Karavanke mountains are rich in iron ore. Named after two proprietary families, the Bucellenis and the Ruards from the 16th and the 18th centuries respectively, the manor house underwent major reconstruction in 1678 and extensions in the Neoclassical style in 1831. In 1869 it was bought by the Kranjska industrijska družba or KID (Carniolan Industrial Company).

The KID became world famous by inventing a process for producing ferromanganese (iron with added mangan) and received a gold medal at the world exhibition in Vienna in 1873. This innovation gave the KID the reputation of a technical innovator and pioneer in the history of iron. The most of KID ferromanganese was produced in the blast furnace at Stara Sava.

In Stara Sava one can also see remnants of the blast furnace and the puddling mill, the little ironworks' Jesuit-style Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Roch, the Kasarna (workers' barracks), a chimney, a mill, and part of the concrete water trough. The complex is protected as a technical monument.


In 1954 the museum opened a ground floor exhibition on the history of ironworks and mining in the Gorenjska region. The exhibition occupies an area of 410 square metres, divided into 8 rooms which encompass the following sections: the early history of extracting iron, blast furnaces, a reconstruction of a forge, transportation and trade in ironware, mining, and charcoal burning, which illustrate the history of ironworks from the oldest procedures to the initial stages of the development of modern technology in the 20th century. The collection also exhibits moving models of iron making settlements, tools and other artefacts relating to the life and work of the Jesenice ironworkers, charcoal makers, blacksmiths and metalworkers.

In 1993 a Paleontological exhibition was also set up, comprising over 4,000 fossil plants and animals from the western Karavanke mountains collected by Jože Bedič (1923–2002), a dedicated local collector of fossils. Each group of fossils is further illustrated by short descriptions, sketches, and colour photographs on panels.

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