Suhl: Center of German craft of weapons

copperplate engraving of Suhl
  Suhl about 1750

The city Suhl is located at the south-west slope of the forest of Thuringia. About 600 years ago, it became center of the production of weapons for protection and defiance, and about 500 years ago, for hand guns as well. Why did this happen in Suhl?

The surrounding mountains provided for the iron ore as did the forests wood for the smelting furnaces, water power for the blowers of the furnaces, blacksmith hammers and grinding mills. The diligence of the local people added to that, as well as short routes of transport to important trade centers. All in all, the preconditions were favorable.

 

 

Weapons workshop in Suhl
workshop about 1880

Many skilled craftsmen emigrated from other weapon centers to Suhl, founded families there, settled down. They brought with them power, experience and creativity - and the profession was passed on from father to son for many generations.

The products became more and more perfect, artistically demanding. Rivalry created competition.

 

 

seals
seals of guilds

Various specialized professions originated there: Platners, pipe smiths, engravers, gunsmiths and others. The immense specialization of the gunsmith craft at Suhl took place in impressive concentration within an extremely small territory. The whole town of Suhl was one single gun factory. It became the worlds leading center of private weapon production.

 

side locks
interior view of side locks

 

Finest craft was performed, as weapons from Suhl still proof today in various art museums.

Thus, it is not amazing that connoisseurs and enthusiasts from all over the world collect hunting weapons from Suhl to enjoy a masterly crafted piece of cultural assets.