Welcome to the III. Hammer -
the historical part of the Selketal
Mägdesprung - situated in the middle of the Selketal/ Selke Valley - sits at an elevation of about 300m.
The small town that nowadays belongs to the township of Harzgerode (8,000 inhabitants) is first mentioned in 1576 as Meidesprung .
The name derives from the legend of a young girl (maid/meid) jumping (sprung) over the the Selke Valley (included in the collection of the Brothers Grimm).
In 1646 - at the end of the Thirty Years' War, that was sweeping across the Germanic countries - an ironworks was founded by Friedrich von Anhalt-Harzgerode. It was known as the "Ironworks underneath Mägdesprung" from the 18th century onwards.
Between 1780 and 1786 the four so-called Friedrichshammer were built out of local slate stone and red brick along the Selke river. In 1782 the III. Friedrichshammer, today simply called "Third Hammer", was build to expand the hut with a blue furnace (a small furnace for melting iron, which delivers pure "blue iron"), a "Frischfeuer" and a black plate hammer that processes iron into sheets of metal.
In 1812 a 16m obelisk was erected in honor of Prince Friedrich Albrecht von Anhalt - Bernburg. as a masterpiece of art casting.
Iron art casting was introduced in Mägdesprung around 1821/22. The new Carlswerk was built in 1829, named after Prince Carl Alexander. Today the Carlswerk houses a museum.
The Protestant cemetery above the III. Hammer has been in use since 1833.
An iron epitaph on the cemetery wall opposite the entrance gate commemorates the "savior's death" at the blue oven in 1834. The chapel was build in 1913 and renovated in 2007 and concecrated as a pilgrim chapel. The small bell tower was erected a year later and serves as a morning bell in Mägdesprung.
In the summer of 1887 the Selketalbahn established its first route between Gernrode and Mägdesprung and it still is in use today.
In 2006 Mägdesprung counted 50 inhabitants.