Walcownia Cynku (Zinc Rolling Mill) in Katowice – Szopienice is a landmark that is inscribed in the industrial heritage of the region, which significantly influenced the development of the Silesia voivodship. It is one of the landmarks in the history of the mighty steel industry, providing employment and livelihood for many generations – residents of Katowice, till not so long ago.
Walcownia Cynku (Zinc Rolling Mill) was built in 1904 near Huta Bernhard (Bernhard Steelworks) and the railway line Szopienice-Siemianowice. This location was beneficial due to the supply of raw materials and export of zinc sheet metal via the railway. The main hall that was built in Walcownia Cynku (Zinc Rolling Mill) was 91 meters long and 20 meters wide, and the engine room had a length of 70 meters and a width of 6 meters. The height of the hall was 5.124 meters. In 2002, after almost 110 years, production at Walcownia Cynku (Zinc Rolling Mill) came to an end. You can feel the atmosphere of work and previous production.
Historic building was taken over by Foundation for the Protection of Silesian Industrial Heritage and was transformed into Zinc Metallurgy Museum – The Rolling Mill. The preservation of technical cultural heritage in the area of Silesia and didactic as well as research activities are the Museum’s primary aims. It is achieved by protecting an owned collection, performing professional evaluations, completing records, and maintaining historical industrial buildings.
The Museum’s main goal is also supported by organisations of cultural, as well as educational nature. It encourages popularizing the idea of protecting technical heritage
Devices that assured proper flow of sheet metal production technology are located in the mill’s main hall. The technological line consists of: two melting furnaces with a capacity of 50 tonnes, heating furnace for boards, carousel casting with 24 water-cooled forms, a roughing mill, 3 finishing mills, 2 pairs of preliminary shears for cutting sheet metal, 2 pairs of finishing shears for sheet metal. The set of rolling mills was powered by steam engines.
The building is under preservation maintenance, including the rolling mills and steam engines. A museum, where the previous technology and technique as well as the memory of people’s hard labour will be maintained, is open everyday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.