It is located in a deep valley, at the junction of the Miera stream and the Meruelo river, surrounded by exuberant vegetation. Its construction is associated with the Monastery of Compludo that San Fructuoso founded here in the 7th century. In the The Smithy of Compludo you can see the means and ways that were used to take advantage of the force of the water and that by its ingenious rudimentary, makes think of a very old industry of the forge. The way of insufflating the air necessary to fan the fire of the forge, using water for this purpose, could have been a procedure introduced in Spain by the Romans and that centuries later Venturi would perfect, passing through some pipes the liquid element managed it to displace the air with sufficient force to fan the fire, calling this effect the Venturi effect.
Since the 19th century this method has been used in almost all the forges of the time. The blacksmiths were located at the foot of a river and through a small channel the water was diverted to the banzao, which is what is called a small deposit that was placed at the top of the blacksmiths and mills and that could be managed from inside by opening a gate or another, depending on what the blacksmith wanted to generate air to stoke the fire or give strength and movement to the hammer pylon, which through a rodezno with large blades made the water that drove it turn. The rodezno of The Smithy of Compludo is the oldest piece of this monument that is conserved and can give 180 blows per minute. In 1913, and after being closed for more than forty years, a family bought it and put it back into operation until 1965 when it ceased its activity. In The Smithy of Compludo it is evident how human ingenuity combines the force of water with air and fire to shape and convert a metal, as hard and heavy as iron, into tools, implements or something as artistic as the trellis of balconies or garden fences. The forge is built in masonry and brick and according to the latest theories could date from the nineteenth century.
Tradition has it that this region is the largest iron producer in Castilla and it is said that iron was brought from the Anubleras mine near Peñalba, where on St. Benedict's Day the monks who died buried are heard praying.
The Smithy of Compludo was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1968.
Legend has it that the sword with which Don Pelayo defeated the Muslims in Covadonga was forged in The Smithy of Compludo.
To get to Compludo we can only do it following the LE-142 that from Ponferrada, passing through Molinaseca or from Astorga, passing through Rabanal del Camino, reaches El Acebo de San Miguel following the route that marks the Way of Santiago. On the outskirts of this locality as we arrive from Ponferrada we will find the crossroads with the road that descends towards the locality of Compludo.
Approximately 1 km before reaching Compludo, at the bottom of the valley, the road widens to give way to a small car park where we can leave our vehicle. It is in this same place where the path begins in good condition and perfectly signposted that passes by the river, taking us without a lost place to The Smithy of Compludo which is about 5 min on foot from the car park.
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