Located in the village of the same name, about 3 km from Santa Eulalia, Is a hydraulic mallet assembly and forging workshop dating from the XNUMXth century which remains as in the past and favors the understanding of the iron industry. These hydraulic devices took advantage of the power of the rivers to set in motion mechanisms that, in turn, ended up moving huge and heavy hammers (in some cases of more than 500 kilos). The purpose was to transform the billets (iron ingots) into sheets. A priority transformation that meant a great saving of time and effort before going on to manually finish all kinds of utensils.
The ancient iron industry
The Mazonovo deck is an island in the middle of the ocean, one of the last hydraulic harnesses in all of Europe that is in operation. From the mallet itself, the wooden "banzado" is kept (the only one that is preserved in Asturias made with this material). The nozzles and air ducts are also made of wood. There are two households or stragglers. The main one, fed with air from the horn and located next to the hammer and a secondary one fed with a manual bellows that served as a forge. It is the unique venturi effect, thanks to the force of the water falling through the trunk, which produces the air that feeds the forge. Other noteworthy elements are found outside the building: the dam built with stone slabs, the cana of about 350 meters and the pond where the water accumulates or «banzao».
Mazonovo is therefore an excellent example of the Shire's blacksmith industry, an industry that until the XNUMXth century exported manufactured material to Fonsagrada, Vegadeo, Castropol and other territories in Asturias and Galicia. Later came the decline of traditional blacksmithing in rural areas. The forges and mallets were abandoned and the transmission of knowledge was cut short, with fewer and fewer connoisseurs of one of the oldest trades in the world.
In 2006, Friedrich Bramsteidl "Fritz", descendant of a long tradition of Austrian blacksmiths, comes to the town of Mazonovo to take charge of the maintenance and opening to the public of the hydraulic mallet, and also opens his own forging workshop, where he develops all kinds of works: from works of an artistic nature to everyday utensils.
Following the traditional teaching structure of this trade, Fritz has mentored and employed a number of apprentices over the years. All collaborate to carry out the different assignments, learning in the process the secrets of a profession of great delicacy and complexity. With their effort they show daily that Ferreiro's work still has value, validity and viability in the XXI century. They also act as guides to show visitors the historical and ethnographic set in which they develop their work, including a broad explanation of the history and mechanism of the mallet, the exhibition of the mallet itself with a professional ironworker, and the accompaniment to the exhibition. of traditional pieces and new designs made by Fritz.
Photos Oscos Eo Rural Tourism Association.
In the deck are also organized periodically traditional forging courses where basic techniques and knowledge are taught so that the student can fend for himself. These courses are intensively planned in a weekend format, with a reduced number of places so that the teaching is as personalized as possible.
The courses are managed through the platform CRAFTLY, which proposes a sustainable and different tourism in the Oscos-Eo region. If you are interested, you can find detailed information, answer your questions and make your reservation through its website:
In summer time, from July 1 to September 15, from Tuesday to Saturday the demonstrations begin at 10:30, and continue at 11:30, 12:30 and 13:30. In the afternoon at 16:30 PM, 17:30 PM, 18:30 PM and 19:30 PM. Sunday morning only: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30 and 13:30
Demonstrations the rest of the year:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 13:XNUMX p.m.
Friday and Saturday at 11:30. 12:30 p.m., 13:30 p.m., 16:30 p.m., 17:30 p.m. and 18:30 p.m.
Sunday at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 13:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 14:16 p.m. and from 30:19 to XNUMX:XNUMX.
Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 14:XNUMX p.m.
Sunday afternoon and Monday.
From 16 years: € 4 per person.
From 10 to 16 years old: € 2.
Children under 10 years free.
Groups from 20 people: € 2.5 per person.
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com