Henner (Heinrich the miner) and Frieder (Friedrich the smelter) are the two figures that symbolise the history of the German mining and the iron & steel industry in the Siegerland. The larger-than-life bronze statues, cast by a Berlin metal foundry, were originally created for the 1902 Industry and Commerce Exhibition in Düsseldorf, where the two bronze statues formed the centre-piece of the presentation of the represented Siegerland companies. Afterwards, Henner and Frieder were donated to the town of Siegen, where they were erected for the first time in 1904. After several changes of location they have been positioned at the new bridge in Siegen town centre since autumn 2015.
2,500 years of mining in Siegerland
Mining in the Siegerland has 2,500-years of history, whereupon iron ore has already been mined, first above and then below ground, and smelted in the area in pre-Roman times.
From the 12th Century AD onwards, the Siegerland in Germany developed into one of Europe’s most important mining areas. Charcoal kilns produced the charcoal, required for the smelting, from wood out of the nearby “Hauberge”or communally managed woodland. The smelted ore was subsequently processed in foundries and hammer and rolling mills.
The last pits in and around the Siegerland closed in the 1960s. With the decline of the last blast-furnace and steel works in the following decades, iron and steel manufacture in the region also ended. Nevertheless, steel and sheet-metal processing still play an important role in the region, putting the local metalworking industry and the machine and plant construction companies, including the SIEMAG TECBERG group, amongst the strongest in the world.
The SIEMAG TECBERG group’s historical roots lie in Siegen and Siegerland, where it all began at a smithy in 1871. Following this regional tradition, the present meeting rooms at the headquarter, developed in Haiger in 2009, are named after former mines in the region.
To find out about milestones in the history of the SIEMAG TECBERG group, please go to the History page.