When driving into le Creusot, the statement – You can’t miss it – is completely true.
It is virtually impossible to miss the impressive 21 metres tall “Marteau Pillon” at the entrance of town. The gigantic hammerhead dominates the skyline, dwarfing all those who come to see it, yet welcoming locals and visitors alike. The iconic tool built in 1876 by the Schneider manufacturers is a tribute to the town’s incredible industrial adventure as one of the world's leading steel and metallurgical centres.
Now try and imagine the dreadful noise of this steam hammer hitting 100 tons of steel to forge parts of heavy machinery. Imagine the sounds echoing ten miles around day and night. Imagine the iron and steel factories roaring, the white smoke escaping out of the huge brick chimneys, the buzz of steam engines and locomotives going back and forth on railroad tracks endlessly….
Industrial heritage is a part of the cultural legacy in Le Creusot. When you visit town, the story of industrial technology, the changing production methods and working conditions become alive. The historical sites and attractions demonstrate the impact of the Industrial Revolution and how the Schneider family’s empire changed the landscapes forever.
Once known as the “workshop of the world”, the legacy of this era and the rich industrial heritage of le Creusot provide a potent reminder of times gone and an invitation to travel back to the past!