cannons from the Koenigshuette (kings' hut)

June 2024: A member of our support group recently found an interesting old newspaper article, which I would like to share with the readers of our website.

The ironworks Koenigshuette – kings’ hut - like many other ironworks - produced weapons and ammunition in times of war, from the Seven Years' War (1756 to 1763) to the Second World War (1939 to 1945). Cannons, such as those mentioned in the newspaper article, were also used in peacetime to fire salutes.

The newspaper article was published in 1984 in a special supplement 'Volksfest 1984' (fair 1984) Newspaper from the city of Hildesheim. There we read:

arksmen's wish: The cannons should be "durable and their sound loud and impressive".

The cannons are 150 years old

The two cannons that take pride of place in the parade have a history steeped in tradition. It's their birthday: this year they are 150 years old.

The decision to purchase the two cannons was made in 1833 after a firecracker exploded during the free shooting in the town of Marienrode.

Two new cannons were then ordered by the shooting club from the ironworks Koenigshuette (kings’ hut), the state gun foundry near the town of ‘Bad Lauterberg’ in the Harz Mountains. The Hildesheim marksmen's wish: The cannons should be "durable and their sound loud and impressive".

The two guns were delivered in the spring of 1834. The county initially caused difficulties because no prior approval had been obtained. However, the cannons were eventually approved. They were tested on the (mountain) Spitzhut . For safety reasons, the muzzle was pointed to the west.

The cost of the two cannons amounted to 180 thalers. The two cannons were honored at the jubilee celebrations of the University of Göttingen in 1837 and at the entry of the Count Muenster to (the city of) Derneburg ten years later. In both cases they were used to fire salutes.


Here come a few notes on terms and places that not everyone knows (anymore):

The 'Spitzhut', from which the cannons were fired, is a peak in Hildesheim, Hanover region, Lower Saxony and has an elevation of 215 meters. It lies west of Marienburg Castle, the seat/home of the king of hanover.

A 'Landdrostei' is a defined administrative district in military, jurisdictional and police terms. The administrative official 'Drost' corresponds to a modern-day government president or district administrator. He represented the position of the sovereign.

At the moment, we are trying to find out more about the history of the cannons mentioned in the article, a short facebook-video has already been found showing the firing of the cannons. Contact has also been sought with the Hildesheim Shooting Society, which acquired the two cannons from the Koenigshuette (kings’ hut) in 1984. More on this soon.


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Review International Museum Day 2024

Guided tour on International Museum Day 2024 - in front of the factoring house

Despite the initial rain, many visitors found their way to the kings’ hut (Koenigshuette). This year, International Museum Day fell on Whit Sunday. The support group was once again able to secure one of the local pastors for the service. In view of the rain, the service took place in a living room atmosphere in the hut tavern and ended with a cup of coffee. The music of the six ladies of the harz zither witches gave the service a special atmosphere.

In view of the weather forecast, which had predicted light rain for Bad Lauterberg, we from the support group had set up pavilions for the exhibitors we were able to attract as a precaution, so that the exhibitors and visitors did not have to 'stand in the rain'. Visitors looked at high-quality steam engine models, asked the beekeeper about his bees and products and stocked up on honey and more - in addition to honey, he also had honey liqueur, homemade (poured) candles made from beeswax, soap made from beeswax, a cream for the hands, lollies for the children and more on offer.

The hands-on activities - also under a pavilion - were also popular with the children, who were able to make tags, e.g. for their dog's collar, on which the dog's name and the owner's also under a pavilion - were very popular with the children, who were able to make tags, e.g. for their dog's collar, on which the dog's name and the owner's telephone number were stamped, in case the dog escaped, but they could also make money boxes and stamp or have their date of birth stamped on them.

Unfortunately, there were also cancellations from exhibitors. This meant that the THW, an attraction from past museum days, was unable to come. The THW had to be on standby, and rightly so, as it turned out ... in the Saarland - and not only there - but there was 'land under water' and many cellars and streets were flooded again.

Around 80 visitors took part in the four guided tours, and around 10 children took part in the children's rally with the Brocken gang and proudly took home their certificates. - As the show casters were unfortunately unable to come, a film about show casting was shown in the hut tavern  instead. - The film was made a few years ago by a local photographer. - It also attracted numerous visitors, even though the original is of course more impressive, and not just because of its ambience. In September, on Open Monument Day, there will once again be a show casting, one of the centrepieces of International Museum Day in May and Open However, in September, on Open Monument Day, there will once again be a show casting, one of the centrepieces of International Museum Day in May and Open Monument Day in September.

The physical well-being of the visitors was not neglected either, thanks to coffee and cake in the hut tavern and bratwurst and steaks with a hearty beer in front of the iron magazine.

As in previous years, Ullrich Schäfers and his barrel organ provided musical accompaniment from 2 pm. Unfortunately, we were unable to offer the country music as the singer had been admitted to hospital shortly beforehand.

From around 2.30 p.m., the sun came out and attracted visitors. They came from all over Germany - no doubt due to the Whitsun vacations. So we from the support group were able to go home satisfied.

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One of our members - on the right - produces a money box

we wish merry christmas and a happy new year 2024

fountain of the kings’ hut with (from the right) machine factory and iron magazine in the background  (foto from: Gudrun Grzyb)


We, the members of the board and advisory board of the support circle Kings’ hut (Koenigshuette) Bad Lauterberg registered association wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2024.

The year that is drawing to a close had its ups and downs for our association. One of the highlights was the 40th anniversary celebration of the support circle on November 4, which involved a lot of voluntary work, donations from the Bad Lauterberg business community and also from our members made the celebration a success. The celebration took place in the spa hall in Bad Lauterberg and we were able to welcome almost 100 people. The two presentations - on the history of the Koenigshuette and the support circle and on iron ore mining in the Lauterberg mining district - were very well received and met with great interest. The two lectures can be read in a commemorative publication. We reported on the festive event.

The regulars' table - every first Thursday of the month - is very popular, unfortunately non-members rarely attend.

Our guided tours went well. We have received positive feedback. There were 60 guided tours up to the end of October, with 814 visitors. The International Museum Day in May and the Open Monument Day in September 2023 were also very well attended. We had glorious weather on both days, which contributed to the success of the events. In addition, the show casting and the stands with craftsmen attracted a great deal of interest. A number of children and young people also took part in the information-rally or searched for and found the lost magic ring with the ‘Brockenbande’, a group of girls and boys and a tame raven who help children to solve riddles in a lot of cities.

The renovation of the machine factory is also progressing, the funding has been approved, the building application has been granted and discussions are currently underway with our architect and structural engineer.

The number of members is falling slightly, but with two fewer members than a year ago, it is manageable. Several members have left for reasons of age.

Now our association year comes to an end. We look to the future with optimism, and we hope that many visitors will continue to come to the kings’ hut (Koenigshuette) industrial monument in 2024. The first registrations for special guided tours have already been received for the coming year.

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south harz ironworks museum on december 20th, 2023       (foto from Klaus Wolf, member of the support circle)

International Museum Day May 19, 2024

We in the Sponsoring Group have not been idle over the last few weeks; this year's general meeting was held around a month ago: 20 people found their way to the Hotel Riemann in Bad Lauterberg. After a presentation by our deputy chairman, Christian Mühl, on the long history and status of the renovation of the machine factory, the non-public part of the members' meeting began. One of the items on the agenda was the International Museum Day, which this year falls on Whit Sunday, May 19. This allowed our members to find out in advance what the organization team has already prepared for International Museum Day. Because on May 19, International Museum Day, the Sponsoring Group kings hut Bad Lauterberg  will once again be opening a number of doors to the kings’ hut  industrial monument. The day begins at 10 a.m. with an open-air church service, accompanied by the six ladies of the Harz Zitherhexen (harz mountains zither-witches). The guided tours are one of the centrepieces of the day: from 11 a.m. they start every 90 minutes at the ironworks fountain, and from the early afternoon 'our' show casters will demonstrate how iron was cast in the past - today, of course, aluminium is used. As a visitor, you can join in and take your work home with you. Craftsmen and women that we have been able to recruit from the organization team will be demonstrating their skills and there will be hands-on activities for children. And, of course, our visitors' physical well-being will also be catered for, with coffee and cake, barbecued food and, of course, a hearty beer. We have also been able to attract new musicians for the feast for the ears, such as the duo David & Heart, who will be playing country music. Hurdy-gurdy player Ullrich Schäfers will also be back with one of his instruments, and the musicians will alternate in their performances. Let yourself be surprised, there will be a colourful mix for young and old.  We look forward to your visit.


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Festive event to mark 40 years of the support group kings’ hut Bad Lauterberg registered association (“Foerderkreis Koenigshuette Bad Lauterberg e.V.”) on November 4th 2023

the South Harz brass quartet loosend up the atmosphere

Festive event to mark 40 years of the support group kings’ hut Bad Lauterberg registered association

Just over a week ago, on November 4th, 2023, the support group kings’ hut Bad Lauterberg registered association (“Foerderkreis Koenigshuette Bad Lauterberg e.V.”) celebrated its 40th anniversary in the Kursaal in Bad Lauterberg for around 90 people. Admission was from 2.30 pm. The guests were welcomed with sparkling wine, orange juice, finger food and ... music from the south harz  brass quartett under the direction of Mr. Walter Ziegler and were then able to sign the guest book of the support group.  At 3 p.m., our first chairman, Mr. Hans-Heinrich Hillegeist, welcomed the guests and reported on the beginnings and intentions of the support group. This was followed by words of welcome from the Deputy District Administrator, Mr. Sebastian Bornmann, and the Mayor of Bad Lauterberg, Mr. Rolf Lange. Both praised the activities of the support group and highlighted its successes. Further greetings came from friendly associations such as the borderland-museum Bad Sachsa, but also from association member Professor Dr. Reinhard Döpp. Professor Dr. Döpp turned to  90 this year, is also a board member of an ironworks in Ennepetal and actively supports the work of the support group kings’ hut  association with his wealth of experience. He always travels to Bad Lauterberg by train.

Following the words of welcome, Mr. Hans-Heinrich Hillegeist presented the certificates of honour - three people were honored by him for 40 years of membership, they joined the association shortly after it was founded. A certificate was received by her son due to the age of the person being honored. This was followed by three certificates for members who have belonged to the association for 30 years and a certificate for 25 years of membership. Not all of the honorees were present to receive their certificates in person; these certificates were sent out during the week.
This was followed by a photographic presentation on the subject of "The kings’ hut  and 40 years of the support group", given by our first chairman, Mr. Hans-Heinrich Hillegeist. He reported on the history of the kings’ hut, how the support group was founded in 1983, on the renovation of the former tasting house, i.e. the former ironworks laboratory, of the kings’ hut, which was converted into the  south harz ironwork museum ('Suedharzer Eisenhuettenmuseum') and given to the association on a hereditary lease, but also on the activities of the support group over the past 40 years. The support group was founded on December 3, 1983.
During special mentions, after the welcoming speeches, after the presentation of honorary certificates and before the second presentation of photographs, excellently selected pieces of music, played by the south harz  brass quartett under the direction of Mr. Walter Ziegler, lightened the atmosphere.
This was followed by a photographic presentation by member Dr. Wilfried Ließmann on the history of ironstone mining around Bad Lauterberg. One of the reasons why the kings’ hut near Lauterberg – at that time called Lutterberg - was built was the iron ore mines.

Our second chairman, Mr. Christian Mühl, thanked the audience for the two interesting presentations and reported from his perspective on the support group and the achievements of our first chairman, Mr. Hans-Heinrich Hillegeist. He presented Mr. Hillegeist with his honorary certificate for 40 years of membership in the association and also paid tribute to his work as first chairman of the association, which he has headed for 30 years. 

Aside from that Mr. Mühl thanked the sponsors from the Bad Lauterberg business community and members of the support group for their numerous donations, which made this festive event possible.

Mr. Mühl thanked our secretary, Ms. Gudrun Grzyb. She painstakingly accompanied the creation of the commemorative publication, which was completed just in time and was hot off the press, so to speak. Another special thank you went to Mrs. Marlis Grulich, who welcomed the arriving guests, pointed them to the guest book and asked them to sign there. Ms. Grulich also sold the commemorative publication. Last but not least, special thanks went to Mr. Joachim Gruppe, who took excellent care of the technology used.

Finally, Mr. Hillegeist thanked all guests for coming, as well as the members of the association who had contributed to the success of the event. He also highlighted the club members who had contributed to the success of the event in advance.

Mr. Hans-Heinrich Hillegeist (Chairman) during his talk about the kings’ hut (Koenigshuette) and 40 years of the support group.

Translated with DeepL