Demonstration charcoal kiln from the charcoal burners in Walhausen
The over 2-metre-high demonstration charcoal kiln from the charcoal burners in Buchwald forest in Walhausen reminds us how charcoal was produced in the pre-industrial era between 1454 and 1794. Charcoal was the most important source of energy at that time and was also needed in large quantities to melt copper ores for smelting purposes.
The first documented mention of copper ore mining in Walhausen was in 1454. This 50 km-long copper vein stretches along the River Nahe in the direction of Kirn and was created by active volcanic activity during the Permian period.
Up to seven tonnes of charcoal were needed to melt a single tonne of ore. Some 90 cubic metres of wood were required for this, depending on the quality of the wood. The charcoal kiln plant gained considerable importance due to the high demand. Numerous kilns were built between the 16th and 18th centuries, which can still be seen today in the area around Buchwald. A charcoal burner's job was a difficult one. They watched over the charcoal kilns for days on end and lived cramped together in huts far from their families.
The surge in coal mining in the 19th century made charcoal production no longer profitable, however, and it was discontinued. The huge demand for wood also changed the landscape of the forests. Beech wood played a major role in the production of charcoal. For this reason, the growth of this tree was strongly promoted, causing forest-scale growth to take place. It still characterises the image of the state forests in the area around Nohfelden today.
In memory of the charcoal burning trade, the traditional Charcoal Burner's Festival takes place every five years in Walhausen at the site of the demonstration charcoal kiln.
All year round
By telephone agreement via +49 6852 1415, +49 6852 81230 or +49 172 969 55 26
Demonstration only during the Charcoal Burner's Festival