Grinding needs a special feel. It is high precision work. Some special knife blades must be as thin as a newspaper page. The grinder regulates the pressure of the blade on the grindstone with his body weight. He also wears a special pair of wooden clogs with leather attachments to fit the lower part of his legs. Grinders’ techniques have been in use since the 16th century.

The Wipperkotten, a huge twin “Kotten” site, stands on a very picturesque part of the fast-flowing Wupper. This is the last remaining “Kotten” complete with its original technical equipment. Here you can see a small exhibition on grinders’ work and purchase products. And whilst you’re admiring the picturesque setting and finding out more about the craft, you can watch cutlery which people have brought along, having a general overhaul. 

In the inner “Kotten” you can view the Rodenkirchen family gallery with its old grinders’ tools and modern art works. It also houses the small “café in the Kotten” and presents occasional cultural events.

The Wipperkotten is alleged to have been built as early as 1605. Twelve to sixteen grinders worked here. In 1783 a rifle shot from surrounding French troops set fire to the straw roof on the “Kotten” and the building was burnt to the ground. It was rapidly rebuilt to meet the urgent demands of the Solingen cutlery industry. When it burnt down once again in 1858 it was rebuilt once more in the larger form we know it today.

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.


Schleiferei Wipperkotten (Außenkotten)
Wipperkotten 2
42699 Solingen

+49 (0) 212 / 2 47 39 58
+49 (0) 212 / 2 33 73 73 

Opening hours Schleiferei Wipperkotten

Monday to Friday
by prior arrangement

April to October
every 1. and 3. Sunday in the month