Harnessing water power

The footpath from the parking lot to the Müngsten Viaduct Park provides visitors with constantly changing views of the landscape, the Diederichs Temple in the midst of the woods and, of course the awe-inspiring viaduct. The Wupper valley is unadulterated nature. It is scarcely conceivable that this was once an intensively exploited industrial area. Waterwheels in countless cottage workshops – the locals called them “Kotten” – harnessed hydraulic power to drive grindstones and forging hammers. 

Today the so-called “Schaltkotten” is a part of the Viaduct Park. Grinding began here in 1574 and this was later followed by forging. At the time the spot was ideal for harnessing water-power to make heavy Remscheid tools like chisels and drills. Nowadays a metal designer works in the old forge, which was rebuilt in brick after a fire around 1900. The “Schaltkotten” is open to visitors on action days.

Hydraulic power is still used today. It drives a turbine plant and produces electricity which is fed into the public grid. Fish on their way to their spawning and feeding grounds can pass through the weir unharmed via a specially built “fish ladder”.

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