The 150 essential elements of industrial heritage

20 October 2015
The project aims to showcase its rich industrial heritage

The Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC) today presented the list of 150 essential elements of Catalan industrial heritage, accessible via the new website Industrial Heritage Map of Catalonia. The presentation was staged at the former Estrella Damm Brewery in Barcelona, and was attended by the Director-General for Archives, Libraries, Museums and Heritage, Joan Pluma; the Director of the mNACTEC, Jaume Perarnau; the Vice-President of the AMCTAIC (Association of the Museum of Science and Technology and Industrial Archaeology of Catalonia), Joan Munt, and the Director and Company Secretary of Damm S.A. and directorial trustee of the Damm Foundation, Ramon Agenjo.

Through this new, visual and attractive website, the mNACTEC aims to facilitate public access and understanding of the 150 key sites and elements of Catalonia's industrial heritage, with information intended for all audiences, including the history behind the element, photographs of it, travel directions, curiosities and other details of interest. The site is accessible via the main mNACTEC site (www.mnactec.cat) or otherwise via a direct link: www.mnactec.cat/150elements.

The 150 key elements

The list of 150 elements is the product of a joint, transversal project staged over four years by the mNACTEC, the Commission of Directors of its Territorial Structure, the AMCTAIC (Association of the Museum of Science and Technology and Industrial Archaeology of Catalonia), and various professionals and private individuals. This list of the key elements of Catalan industrial heritage is the continuation of the task begun in 1994 with the publication of the list of 75 elements of the Industrial Heritage of Catalonia, which was extended to 100 elements in 1997.

The 150 elements covered by the website are of particular historical, aesthetic and evidential interest, and represent a selection of at least one example of every thematic area in which industrialisation has played a prominent role:

  • 23 pre-industrial elements: mills; forges; ice shafts; lime furnaces; salt flats; textile production and tanneries.
  • 84 industrial elements: timber and derivatives industry; construction industry, textile industry, agri-food industry, tobacco industry, chemical industry, cork industry, steel industry, automobile industry, mining, industrial chimneys and industrial canals.
  • 43 elements of public works and services: public water services, public gas services, public electricity services, markets, railway heritage, maritime heritage, public works, telecommunications and scientific observatories.

The selection of the 150 key elements of Catalan cultural heritage was performed in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Representation of the different industrial thematic areas
  • Geographical diversity
  • Authenticity
  • Industrial, historical, social and architectural representativeness
  • Territorial and landscape value
  • Aesthetic and artistic value

Industrial heritage in Catalonia

Catalonia was one of the first European regions to begin the processes of change in the late 18th century that allowed for evolution from an economically pre-industrial society to the establishment of the new and incipient fully industrial economic and production methods.

This swift and early industrialisation in Catalonia gave it two clearly defined and distinctive characteristics: firstly, the emergence of a local bourgeoisie fully identified with this new process of industrialisation, and secondly an unusually diverse industrialisation, in terms of the breadth and variety of productive sectors involved, and also their geographical distribution across most of the territory of Catalonia. This sectoral and geographical diversity will to a remarkable extent determine the analysis and situation of the physical and material remains of the different processes of industrialisation in Catalonia, that make up what we know as industrial heritage.

Industrial heritage groups together all movable, immovable and intangible elements connected with processes of industrial manufacture and exploitation, including every aspect and content: machines, buildings, productive processes, tools, energy systems, transport systems, storage locations, the houses of owners, workers' accommodation, social spaces, archives, graphical and sound documents, advertising, social history, cartography, plans, commercial documents, samples, etc.

 

20/10/2015