The Farga Palau
(Palace Forge) in Ripoll
, first documented in 1626 and in operation until 1978, is a valuable testimony to one of our country’s historical industries: the Catalan forge
. Located on the banks of the river Freser
, you can see the restored structure which had remained in operation over the course of four centuries.
The forge occupies the ground floor where the water trompes
(water-powered compressors), the trip hammers
(unique in being made with metal bearings, an elm handle and steel mallet), the coal bunker
, the kiln
, where the ore is reduced, and the forge itself. The industrial part is completed outside with the water wheel, the channel and the pool. All of these are the essential elements of the Catalan forge or «Catalan process»
; a type of forging that enabled the manufacturing of a high-quality product.Ripoll
was the metallurgical centre
of Catalonia, thanks to the manufacture of the two most prestigious products of the Catalan forge: portable firearms
With the introduction of new industrial techniques, many iron forges became obsolete and, in order to survive, devoted themselves to working copper. This was the case with the Farga Palau, the only one in Catalonia which produced copper coins up until the second half of the 20th century. The forge closed definitively in 1978 and in 1997 it was incorporated into the Territorial System of the Science and Technology Museum of Catalonia (mNACTEC)
as a separate section.