18 Old Soviet Blast Furnaces

Old Soviet Blast Furnaces

Posted on August 8, 2011 by kulichik

What do you feel when looking at giant constructions? We’ll see some of them today.

A blast furnace is the most impressive construction met on the former Soviet territory. Flamboyancy, beauty and strength of these giant monsters can be compared only with one of a Gothic cathedral.

A blast furnace without any additional elements like tubes.  They are equal even in size. This post is devoted to furnaces which are mere Gothic cathedrals of the 20th century.

This tube is 35 meters long. Tubes are mainly used for iron smelting or final dressing of extremely rich ore.

Method of their work is quite simple and is as follows: charge material is thrown up and hot gas is supplied from beneath.

The inside of a blast furnace. It has to work continuously. It takes several months to make such a furnace work. In case it’s stopped a solid mass that is impossible to remove is formed inside.

Furnaces made in the 18th and 17th centuries are well-preserved in Europe. The oldest Russian furnace built in 1840 is the only construction in the world which is in a good condition till now.

It is surrounded by a complex system of pipes filled with hot gas.

Today a museum is located here.

Hundreds of similar furnaces built in 1890-1940 are distributed over Russia and Ukraine.

Workshops of the 18th century.

Blast furnaces and workshops located near Tula look even more impressive than all the ones previously shown. But this place is not a museum.

Enakievo Iron and Steel Works is the dirtiest plant of Ukraine.

The Dneprodzershinsk Metallurgical Plant.

Here blast furnaces are located everywhere.

This railway station located next to the plant.

An expensive hotel in Donetsk against the background of blast furnaces.

A church.

The most impressive industrial area in Zaporozhye.

Frightening panoramic view in Hortiza. Local blast furnaces look like giant monsters ready for an attack.

The largest number of furnaces is situated in Mariupol.

They remind of Martian three-leg stands or galactic castles. What are your associations with the furnaces?

In Mariupol furnaces are located close to the sea.

The second metallurgic plant of Mariupol.

Blast furnaces in Nizhny Tagil in the rays of the rising sun.

via varandej

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18 Responses to “Old Soviet Blast Furnaces”

  1. Unknown says:


  2. testicules says:

    It can’t be good living near there. Air quality must be terrible.

    • Gerry says:

      I live and work in a similar metallurgical plant, somewhere in EU so I can tell you how it feels: Everywhere is covered with red dust, you wash your car, next day is dirty, you clean your house, in a week needs cleaning, you have a shower and you see the reddish water coming out of your body. You have to change air filters in car too often, when you clean the air-condition filter at home you prefer not to think what can be inside your lungs. Windshield of car is visibly swirled because seems that this red dust mixed with rain works like sandblast. And old people always say “hey, you are lucky now, some decades ago things were much worse”.

  3. Nemef says:

    Bessemer, Bessemer mucho…!

  4. Jim-Bob says:

    I feel bad for the people who live by these old industrial installations. The air quality can’t be all that good as these things likely lack the air scrubbers seen on more modern production facilities.

  5. BlowME says:

    I sure don’t envy people living in that city, with all that smoke…

    • Gerry says:

      Yes, such place is no exotic paradise. But I can assure you that many of us who work in similar plants don’t envy those guys with shiny costumes and polished shoes who spend half their day stuck in traffic jams or hidden in their air-conditioned offices, looking at numbers and running in panic every time Dow Jones drops a few units…

  6. Musa says:

    The old ones’ are like works of art but come on who likes all that pollution in the air while they’re trying to breathe.

  7. marxistworker says:

    I’ll pick Eastern Steel over Western gold.

    • (r)evolutionist says:

      Guess I have mixed feelings, Comrade. Good to see these lighthouse symbols of the Industrial Revolution, but gazing at these makes me long to get out to the quiet, unpopulated green countryside where you can just lie under a tree and forget your troubles.

  8. YJ says:

    Greenpeace will become extinct from looking at these pictures.

  9. L.S.Zlatopolsky says:

    Monday morning at the factory…

  10. Mihai says:

    Hi and thanks for posting this amazing series!

    Despite of all the pollution facts, one should agree that without the steel industry the current technology and evolution would not have been possible. It’s evident that countries like Russia, Ukraine, China (to name but a few) still have to continue the fight against the pollution and protect the environment, but on the other hand these places are still reminders of an era which already came to an end in other countries.

    You might be interested in the industrial heritage and you can visit the following websites:



    It will be nice if we will see one day a list of blast furnaces from Russia and Ukraine. Without the blast furnaces we wouldn’t have had steel today. And their development and evolution is a nice topic for those who are fond of the industrial heritage.
    I’m living in a country where almost all steel plants have been destroyed, demolished piece by piece – Romania. And I always like to give as example the countries that transformed some of the factories into museums – Germany, Czech Republic, France, etc.

    Thanks again for your post!

    Best regards from Cluj, Romania,


  11. Fallingwater says:

    The last three pictures seem as if they came straight out of Fallout 3’s “The Pitt” expansion. I had no idea there were actually inhabited cities with so many blast furnaces and steel mills around.

  12. Michael Rudas says:

    Regards from Detroit Michigan, the Motor City. The “Steampunk” Facebook page brought me here. This is a great gallery of pictures. I live near the Ford Rouge Plant, so I’m familiar with this scale of industrial facilities. Thank you for sharing this!

  13. george says:

    Here in U.S. we got rid of ours…now all we have for jobs are fried chicken and heart surgery

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