Manuel’s cottage forge

Porous walls, damp muddy ground, rusty tools. The fact of the matter is that Manuel’s Cottage Forge (Manuelskotten) couldn’t function without wetness. This tiny traditional smithy has been producing goods since 1755. Today special-needs cutting knives are still forged here for a Remscheid company.

Manuelskotten is the last remaining water-driven cottage forge in Wuppertal which still produces goods. In the upper floor of the building there is a small exhibition explaining the work processes and displaying some of the products. Beneath a single roof – and this is unique in the region – visitors can see several types of drive including a steam engine, a diesel motor, a generator and an electric motor. Thus it is possible to get an impressive overview of how inventive people were when it came to harnessing the necessary manufacturing power. The highlight of the cottage consists of a huge water wheel with a diameter of over 5½ metres. It sets the transmission in motion which drives the grindstones and polishing wheels inside the cottage.

The building was erected by Emanuel Morsbach in 1902 to replace a burnt down cottage workshop. When times were good up to 28 men were working here in the wet and dry forging sections on the bottom floor of the building, and at a polishing wheel on the upper floor. The blacksmiths were for the most part self-employed. They worked on their own account and rented their workplaces and equipment by the hour.

By trolley to the workplace by the stream

Manuelskotten stands in the Kaltenbach valley. The valley is now a popular venue for day trippers but it used to be a busy place of work. In 1880 alone there were six water-driven workplaces here: two hammer works, three grinders’ workshops and a mill. You can get to the “Kotten” via a narrow road. However it is much more exciting to ride there in the lovingly restored museum trolley which stops just a few metres away. Nature and technology blend together along the magical stretch of woodland leading from Kohlfurth up to Cronenberg. 

Experience nature where blacksmiths and grinders once worked

The “Cradle of Industrial Heritage” was on the River Wupper and its tributaries. The Wupper Discovery Trail takes you through this important industrial history region and enables you to get a palpable impression of what it has become. Today the 21 kilometre cycling and hiking trail is an idyll. You’re never far away from romantic meadows, tiny hamlets, tree-lined valleys, or a rushing river. Nature has reconquered the valley. That said, at two locations – the Wipperkotten and Manuelskotten – you can still see blacksmiths at work and find out more about life and work in the old days.



Kaltenbacher Kotten 1
42349 Wuppertal

+49 (0) 170 / 3 85 68 28
+49 (0) 202 / 5 14 17 60

Opening hours

April to October on every second and fourth Sunday in the month

In accordance with the timetable of the Bergisch Museumsbahnen

Visits from groups and school classes can be made by prior arrangement