Researching the "Fire Engine" in Nová Baňa

ALTHANDEL, o. z., is a civic association composed of volunteers, enthusiasts and scientists who are researching the history of and aspiring to publicly present the unique "fire engine" - the first steam engine that was installed in continental Europe, built in 1722 in Nová Baňa, Slovakia (known then as Königsberg) for the purpose of pumping water out of the Althandel mining shaft.

Goals of the Althandel Civic Association

  • Research the history of the atmospheric steam engine and the history of mining in Nová Baňa
  • Design and construct atmospheric steam engine models
  • Cooperate with the city of Nová Baňa and other civic associations to create the Althandel Mining Museum
  • Cooperate with other museums and related institutions for exhibitions, conferences, publications, presentations and educational activities


Assessment of the Newcomen engine’s development potential as heat engine for low temperature waste heat

Assessment of the Newcomen engine’s
development potential as heat engine for low
temperature waste heat

May 2023
Journal of Power and Energy

The Engine that Changed the World
The Exhibition

The Machine that Changed the World: the Story of Isaac Potter's 'Fire Machine

13.05.2023 - 08.10.2023
Nová Baňa

The Engine that Changed the World
International Conference

Early Steam Engines in Central European Mining

07.10.2022 - 08.10.2022
Banská Štiavnica

The Engine that Changed the World
The Exhibition

The Engine that Changed the World

08.07.2022 - 31.10.2022
Banská Štiavnica

The Engine that Changed the World
Diorama of Althandel site

We created a 1/35 scale diorama of the archaeological site of Althandel for "The Engine that Changed the World" exhibition

Archaeological research Althandel 2022
Archaeological research 

The fourth year of archaeological research at Althandel has been carried out

20.06.2022 - 01.07.2022
Nová Baňa

IEEC2 in Dudley
IEEC2 in Dudley

Participation at the IEEC2 (International Early Engines Conference 2) in Dudley, UK 

Newcomen steam engine in Dudley
Atmospheric Steam Engines in England

A tour of important atmospheric steam engines in England 

Althandel, ambassadors meeting, Nova Bana
Ambassadors' Visit

On 29 August 2021 Althandel was visited by ambassadors from 18 countries and representatives of the Newcomen Society 

Archaeological research Althandel Nova Bana
Archaeological Research

Three seasons of archaeological research 2019-2021

From the History of the Atmospheric Steam Engine in Nová Baňa

History and Personalities

Key personalities:
- Thomas Newcomen
- Isaac Potter
- Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach

Construction of the Atmospheric Steam Engine

In 1720, Isaac Potter came to the Viennese court with a low cost proposal to pump groundwater out of mines using steam power ... 

Operation of the Atmospheric Steam Engine

After the successful start-up of the eingine, the state leased the engine to a new mining company, to which the Court Chamber handed over the mining activity in the local mines ... 

Termination of the Operation

The engine was in operation in Nová Baňa for only 7 years. From the middle of 1729 the engine stopped pumping water and the deep horizon levels in the mine were abandoned ...


The Newcomen Society
Slovenský banský archív v Banskej Štiavnici
Slovenské banské múzeum Banská Štiavnica
Ars Arete o. z.
OZ Nová Baňa
Support us

Also thanks to you, we are making progress in presenting one of the most important mining and technical monuments of industrial heritage not only in Slovakia, but also in Europe. This is an interesting project in the field of cultural heritage, which will benefit the whole community and society. We have no paid staff; all of our volunteers are invaluable and deserve your support in realising the goals of the association.

Account name: Althandel
IBAN: SK7409000000005190743181



Dlhá lúka 730/52,
968 01 Nová Baňa
IČO 54342431

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