Alpine Industrial Landscapes Transformation

Eisenerz, Steiermark

The Styrian Iron Route (Western part of “Upper Styria East”) has a 1300-year long history of mining. The “Erzberg” (“ore mountain”) in Eisenerz with its open-cast iron ore mine is one of the impressing remains and the landmark of the region. Over the centuries the mining led to a prospering and still on-going steel industry. The leading steel company “voestalpine” with 10.000 employees in the region is centered in the Mur-Mürz-Valley, 30 km south of the Erzberg.

The pilot site is located in the north of the city of Eisenerz (district “Münichtal”) at the foot of “Erzberg”. It was the location of the old iron blast furnaces processing the iron ore from the Erzberg mine. The plant was shut down in 1945, since then the site has been used for various purposes (an automotive factory producing windshields which closed in 2008; an aluminium smeltery and foundry for recycled aluminium which closed in 2012; and a scrap metal recycling company still operating in some of the old remaining buildings). In the northernmost corner of the site also a huge slap heap is found, which is partly contaminated.


«Nur Ein Brotgeber» is one of results of the research produced by Univerona Team within the project trAILs, on the pilot 1 (Eisenerz – Münichtal site). This is an except from the full video.

We wanted to describe the system of collective representations of the inhabitants of Eisenerz with regard to their everyday life and their relationship with the  theme of the de-industrialization. We have investigated, through the method of in-depth interviews to some privileged witnesses, five symbolic dimensions: the alpine identity, the territorial integration, the memory of the industrial past and its patrimonialization, the impact of de-industrialization and the projections towards to the future.