Travelling along our industrial legacy: Industrial Tourism in Catalunya
Another way to discover the history of Catalunya is visiting some of the multiple well preserved buildings from our industrial legacy. There are plenty of options available: Mines, old factories reconverted into museums, old factories still producing, industrial colonies … and some of the visits will also include a tour to the surroundings that will let us discover the landscape; or... View Article
Another way to discover the history of Catalunya is visiting some of the multiple well preserved buildings from our industrial legacy.
There are plenty of options available: Mines, old factories reconverted into museums, old factories still producing, industrial colonies … and some of the visits will also include a tour to the surroundings that will let us discover the landscape; or any other extra attraction such as, workshops, activities for adults and children, guided tours, shows, fairs, …
As always, we have made a selection among the available options. But there are other options. You can send us your recommendations and we will include them on our list.
Let’s start by the Industrial colonies, one of the best options if we are looking to enjoy an open air experience which includes more than just one visit and some countryside walking. The main Catalan textile colonies were built near one of the rivers Ter, Llobregat and Cardener, to make the most of its water as a source of energy, and they have turned out great routes offering culture, history and amazing landscapes. One of the best options is the “Ruta de las Colonias textiles del Llobregat”, which includes up to 14 colonies in just 20 km, being the main colony the one known as Colonia Vidal. Reconverted into a museum since late 1990, the colony gives us the chance to discover how life and work were in 1900 inside a colony. It’s one of the best preserved colony, offering over 33 interest points such as the community showers, the theatre, the bakery, the barber’s shop … as well as the machinery used. From the website Consorci del Parc Fluvial del Llobregat, we can browse among the different routes (on foot or MTB) and visits available, clearly identifying the degree of difficulty and length of the route.
Another colony, important at least by its architecture, and also located next to the LLobregat, but quite far from the other ones, is the Colonia Güell (Santa Coloma de Cervelló) This colony started being built in 1890, was included in the Spanish Heritage register back in 1991. Planned and designed by Gaudí, it was one of the latest colonies created in Catalunya and a social experiment for the time.
Another of the routes is the one along the Ter river, another important point for the textile industry in Catalunya, late nineteenth century. The middle basin of the river can be visited following a 22 kilometres long route, that can be split into smaller routes and that includes some of the best industrial and natural elements of the area. This routes is part of the GR-210 route. We can find some extra information about the route and the visits from the website Museu del Ter
If you prefer another type of visit, there are plenty of reconverted old factories, with amazing modernist buildings, offering plenty of activities and visits, that can be find all over the country. Some of the best examples are the Caixaforum (Barcelona) a cultural and social centre, occupying the old modernist building dating from 1913 where the old textile Casarramona factory had it’s headquarters; the Museu de la Pell d’Igualada (Igualada) the only leather factory turned into museum in Catalunya, whose building dates from 1763; the Museu Hidroelèctric de la Vall Fosca (Capdella) (Hydroelectric museum) which allows to admire the amazing building from 1914 but also to discover how the central worked; the Centre d’Interpretació de l’aigua (Tavascan) old hydroelectric central placed inside a 500 metres deep cavern; or the Casa de les Aigües (Montcada i Reixach) used to extract and pump water from, with an amazing modernist building and reconverted nowadays in the municipal museum of Montcada.
But the list of reconverted old factories is far from finished. The actual building where the Museo de la Ciencia y la Tecnica de Catalunya (Terrassa) is place, is the best modernist industrial building in the country. The old factory, known as the Vapor Aymerich, Amat i Jover, was the responsible to convert fleece into wool using steam machinery as the main power. To finish with our list, we have to include the Fábrica de Cemento Asland (Castellar de n’Hug), (cement factory) an impressive modernist building, constructed using the Catalan vault and forged iron that has been reconverted into a museum. This museum can be reached on the old “cement train” reconverted into a touristic train. This little train was built for the Asland factory to cover the distance from the factory to the Guardiola de Berguedá train station so that they could move the cement. The current railway covers 3.5 kilometres and has four stops, among them the Cement Museum.
Has you will have realized, the industrial legacy in Catalunya is huge and the options available are plenty and really different. We have seen some of the main industrial colonies and some of the best reconverted factories in the country. But we still have to visit some of the best mines existing. Have you any idea how many mines can be visited in Catalunya? Don’t miss our next post, were we will explain you all about mines.