Iron and Railway museum
Housed in the smithy in the centre of Vallorbe, the Iron and Railway Museum portrays the importance of the iron industry from 1495 to this day. On advance booking, visitors can forge their own commemorative medal. A charming garden by the canal is the perfect site for a picnic after the visit.
The sound of puffing paddle wheels, rattling machines and hammer blows on the anvil make the visit of the smithy - one of the major smithies in its time - quite special.
The museum portrays the local history of iron exploitation and illustrates a blacksmith’s work directly at the smithy. The museum also exhibits the history of one of the most important railway lines between Paris and Milan.
Although the region of Vallorbe does not particularly lend itself to agriculture, it abounds in water and forests and iron ore: the ideal conditions for the production of armours, coats of mail and tools. In 1670 Vallorbe had three furnaces and some thirty smithies.
A generation later, Vallorbe started producing files and nails. Locksmiths, gunsmiths and blacksmiths developed their know-how which was to endure until the 21st century. Today Vallorbe specialises in the production of precision files.