About project

Discover the history of mining and ironwork in the Vihorlat Mountains

The settlement Josefsthal, the contemporary village Zemplínske Hámre, was founded in 19th century thanks to ore mining on the root of the Vihorlat Mountains. A couple of iron hammer mills, a charcoal blast furnace and metalworks were gradually built in this area. At the end of 19th century they already belonged to the most important producers of iron ore in the region Zemplín. A narrow-gauge railway led in 20th century through woods over the village Zemplínske Hámre. It was one of the ten built in the Vihorlat Mountains and it was used for carting wood. The Vihorlat Mountains are famous for rocky cliffs of volcanic origin, lakes, bogs and primeval beech forests, which are listed in the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. The village Zemplínske Hámre is also one of the entrance gateway into the protected landscape area Vihorlat – a signed hiking trail leads directly from this village on Sninský kameň (mountain). This village is linked with the surrounding self-governances Snina, Stakčín and Kolonica through cycle paths „ On the Snina narrow-gauge railway“, „On the Stakčín narrow-gauge railway“ and „ On the path of planets“. Our intention is to combine the beautiful surrounding nature with not very known, but interesting history of former industrial production on the northern slopes of the Vihorlat Mountains. Within the appeal of the Swiss Financial Mechanism N. 2010-03, which supports initiatives of regional development in peripheral and disadvantaged regions of Prešov and Košice Region, the village Zemplínske Hámre submitted a project entitled „Zemplínske Hámre – discover the history of mining and ironwork in the Vihorlat Mountains“ on 12th July 2010. The evaluation of the projects was realized in two selection procedures. After accepting the project in the first selection procedure the documentation, which is necessary for submitting the final proposal of the project in the second selection procedure, was realized with the financial help of the Swiss Financial Mechanism in 2011. This financial help was based on the Agreement of realization the Tool to prepare projects. The historical research, the historical technical documentation of destroyed technical monuments and the project documentation necessary for the building permission were realized thanks to this financial help. Six projects from the Prešov and Košice Region including the project of Zemplínske Hámre were finally accepted in the second selection procedure. The Agreement of project realization between the Government Office of the Slovak Republic and the village Zemplínske Hámre was signed on 23rd February 2012. The results of the project are the reconstructed original objects, the replicas of destroyed technical monuments, the educational path of Zemplínske Hámre, the village museum and the tourist information centre. We gathered experience necessary for founding and managing a museum thanks to professional partners and other cooperating organisations. The educational path of Zemplínske Hámre and other activities are available for tourists all year long. Zemplínske Hámre is one of the members of the Slovak Iron Path and we prepared this offer with the aim to promote our village as one of the places of this European cultural path connecting localities known for previous iron ore mining, producing and processing iron ore and other metals.

Receiver of the non-repayable financial contribution: the village Zemplínske Hámre

Provided non-repayable financial contribution in EUR: 1 121 772 (100%)

Contribution of the Swiss Confederation in CHF: 1 192 000

Time of project realization: 02/2012 – 06/2015 (41 months)

Project partners:

Project aims:

  • increasing the competitiveness and employment rate in the village Zemplínske Hámre and in the surroundings
  • increasing the quality and  propagation of provided year-long tourist services
  • increasing the amount of  subjects of tourism in Zemplínske Hámre
  • creating new jobs in the area of tourism
  • increasing the number of tourists served by tourist facilities
  • increasing the satisfaction of tourists visiting the village and its surroundings with the provided services
  • realization of common marketing plan

Project results:

  • the establishment of the village museum with the focus on the history of industrial activities in the Vihorlat Mountains
  • the establishment and equipment of the tourist information centre
  • the establishment of the complex tourist information system

Activities realized within the project:

  • processing the technical and specialized documentation
  • the construction of replicas of the destroyed monuments in the village Zemplínske Hámre: blast furnace, iron hammer mill with headrace, adit, charcoal pile, narrow-gauge railway, bell tower
  • the transformation of stone masonry house into the village museum (includes permanent expositions of ethnography, mining history and ironwork in the Vihorlat Mountains; handicraft workroom, educational and exhibition room)
  • the tourist information centre
  • the educational path of Zemplínske Hámre, which shows the history of industrial production in the village