The Old Furnace

 THERE’S AN inscription carved on a cornerstone dated 1682 but the notice (in German) appears to suggest that the structure, a ‘Schmelzofen’ (smelting furnace) may date from 1650 but the date 1715 is also mentioned, possibly referring to a rebuilding. The structure stands on the east bank of the river between Zweilutschinen and Lauterbrunnen.

There’s no trace of burning in the arched openings on the north-west and south-west sides but there is a crust of what appears to be lime around the base of the bee-hive-shaped central chimney.

The inscription on the cornerstone on the north-west side of the furnace.

It had started to rain but I was able to draw sitting at a picnic bench beneath a sheet-plastic awning. A large woodsman’s axe had been left by a covered pile of logs, kept under cover for use on a large barbecue. You wouldn’t leave one of those lying around in England!