FÁBRICA DE FIACÃO E TECIDOS O RIO VIZELA
Fábrica de Fiação e Tecidos o Rio Vizela is the oldest factory in Santo Tirso and was built in 1845. As one of the earliest examples of industrial modernization in northern Portugal, the factory is known as being a spinning mill of cotton yarn which was then exported to England. At the height of its success the Rio Vizela Factory employed more than 3000 people and was known for its support in the local railway system, and use of three chimneys which powered the work force. Closed in 2010 during the region’s textile crisis, the future for the factory is to be a hotel part-funded by the Pereira family.
We were lucky enough to have a quick tour of the area and inside the large original kitchen on our last day, before heading up to the nearby mountains to see Basílica de Nossa Senhora da Assunção. I love seeing the history behind buildings, especially when it look as though everyone suddenly dropped everything and left, with few changes to the interior - although can be quite sad to see the impact. There are still people around, and the kitchen was still running, with the large vats still in use! We couldn’t access the larger rooms but there are a few videos on Youtube that allow you look closer.