XIV International TICCIH Congress in Freiberg September 2009

National Report for SPAIN
XIV International TICCIH Congress in Freiberg September 2009

From forgotten, misunderstood heritage to emerging heritage

Miguel Ángel Álvarez Areces.
President of TICCIH – Spain (International Committee for the Preservation of Industrial Heritage)

Industrial vestiges form part of our collective memory. The imprint left by working activities and the heritage from the industrial revolution have ceased to be seen as a hindrance or problematic and are now considered as new cultural assets and potential resources for programmes of local and regional development.

The idea of preserving a building, a machine, or industrial installations is not an end in itself. It goes beyond the merely aesthetic and represents a monument which prevents us from forgetting. Their conservation, recovery or reuse is an enterprising activity, a demonstration of the self-esteem of the citizens of traditional industrial regions, and a break with the typical fatalism with which an uncertain future is faced.

Our aim, as social activists and researchers of industrial heritage is to ensure its survival as a means of transmitting technology, know-how, and the working memory; a heritage of social relationships which will allow future generations to know and appreciate how their ancestors lived and worked. And these items bear witness to this past and will remain and be conserved as part of the history of their people and country, of those who created history with their struggle and labour. Strategies for the communication and promotion of the cultural use of industrial heritage are required, both for internal and internal publication. We should never forget the past.

Industrial heritage is introducing new integral concepts in regional policies, such as, for example, the so-called “heritage parks”, which are based on a quite different concept, and which should not be confused with technopolis or technological parks which came about in regional policies in the past in order to create enterprise zones. Heritage parks are basically a cultural recreation of natural spaces. The region is the space where man works, and the landscape forms its visible projection. We have thus witnessed an evolution in the use and value of museums, eco-museums, mines and mining parks, cultural parks, geoparks, and heritage parks. Heritage parks create dynamic factors and incorporate new symbolic items in the metropolitan space, both functionally and symbolically, with the interrelation of industrial, cultural and natural heritage.

An emerging heritage

There are five ways of viewing industrial heritage in Spain from a social perspective in these difficult times.

  • Recognition of Industrial Heritage as a universal asset. Besides the gold mining landscape of Las Médulas in the region in León of El Bierzo, considered to be essentially pre-industrial in nature given that it dates from Roman times, UNESCO also declared the Portugalete Transfer Bridge in Vizcaya to be part of the World Heritage. This bridge dates from 1888 by the engineer Alberto del Palacio Elissague, and was nominated by UNESCO in 2007. There is also a proposal to declare Almadén as part of the World Heritage. Almadén is the impressive mercury mine form the Sixteenth Century which remained active until 2006 and has now become the area for greatest investment in industrial heritage in Spain. It includes museums, cultural complexes, a hotel, tourist routes, and the restoration of the Aludeles or Bustamante kilns. it is, without doubt, one of the exponents of technological heritage of greatest historical interest – uncovering the secrets of amalgam processes and the vital role played by mercury in history and the world’s silver market.
  • The approval of the Spanish Industrial Heritage National Plan in 2002, with the description and selection of 49 industrialisation elements, complexes and landscapes. This involved the elaboration of prior studies and managerial plans for the execution of works to increase the value of these elements in the respective regions.
  • There is an ever-growing fundamental relationship between Industrial Heritage and the Cultural landscapes which means that the object is not considered in isolation, but rather in the environmental and regional setting which interprets it and provides it with multiple scientific content and historical references. The entry into force of the European Landscape Convention in Spain on January 1, 2008 is also important in this regard.
  • New conservation laws and regulations for industrial heritage in Spain, which, in many cases, have been used and extended by the autonomous regions. Industrial heritage is now explicitly mentioned, and is no longer a mere subset of other regional and local types of heritage: Asturias ( 2001), Andalucía ( 2008) .
  • The development of a global democratisation process for Heritage in Spain and across the globe. This process doesn’t just extend the concept of heritage, but also the geographical and regional field of heritage. In Spain it applies to all of the autonomous communities which have assets of this type. Previously, only ethnographic elements, such as Churches, Castles, Monasteries, Palaces and the old quarters of historical towns and cities where taken into consideration and given priority.

It is worth noting the watershed which occured in Spain after the approval of the Industrial Heritage National Plan in 2002, with the selection of 49 heritage assets across the country. This process was carried out by the National Heritage Council with prior studies realised by the Spanish Historical Heritage Institute and representatives of the Autonomous Communities (1). For the first time industrial heritage has been recognised as a “national asset”. This is also a recognition of the evident and painful vulnerability and precariousness of industrial heritage in recent times (where vital elements for the comprehension of the history of Spanish Industrialisation over the last two centuries have been lost).

The 49 industrial heritage elements which were chosen can be divided into three different categories:

  • Isolated elements. Due to their historical, architectonic or technological value, they offer a sufficient account of given industrial activities
  • Industrial complexes. These conserve their functional and material components, and are a coherent example of specific industrial activities.
  • Industrial landscapes. Maintain visible all of the essential elements of the production process of one or various industrial activities, including the alterations and impacts caused to the landscape.

The precipitated inclusion of Spain in the European Landscape Convention, passed in Florence in the year 2000, allows the ecological, social, cultural and environmental dimensions of the landscape to be evaluated. This permits industrial heritage to be recognised as a favourable resource for economic activity, reinforcing regional identity.

The causes behind this deterioration, which is common to almost all countries, was the location of old factories and industrial installations in privileged urban spaces of high economic value. Thus, at the height of the property boom these spaces were rapidly demolished and cleared, with decades of history destroyed in the space of only a few minutes.

On the other hand, the absence of laws and regulations in relation to industrial ruins, and the lack of awareness regarding this type of heritage also helped provoke the passivity of public administrations. Costly processes for the restoration of all of the original elements of the heritage sites provoke a certain lack of interest in their conservation. In addition, the wide variety of criteria employed often resulted in these buildings being knocked down and destroyed. Obsolescence and the lack of projects for their use and future profitability caused their owners to take the decision to create plots for building or resulted in abandonment in rural environments, as opposed to reuse and conservation (2).

In Spain, the profound housing crisis, the lack of bank credit and the recession experienced by the metal-mechanical transformation and steel industry due to a decline in demand linked to construction has resulted in spiralling unemployment. Many mayors and political administrators are now examining what they have to hand, possible, near for feasible projects which can create new employment. As such, industrial and cultural heritage has been given a new opportunity in sustainable, feasible plans in Spain. It may well signify new possibilities for innovative and flexible small and medium-sized enterprises and larger companies who wish to include their own history and know-how into their value chains. Investment made in museums, thematic centres, infrastructures and complexes have given rise to the need for professional administration in restoration, conservation, digital and IT technologies, museography, museology, management, marketing and cultural economics in order to make use of the investments financed, to a great extent, by European programmes, the autonomous communities and the Spanish government. In the field of the old industrial tradition where industrial heritage has been the object of noteworthy initiatives this need has become a virtue. It represents a challenge for improving competitive advantages in the future.

Thus, a duel, contradictory process has occurred, with positive data and glimpses of light breaking through the generally bleak panorama. Since the initiation of the Industrial Heritage Plan in Spain, despite problems and shortcomings in the handling of the selected assets, often as a result of not receiving the BIC (Asset of Cultural Interest) status by the given autonomous communities, or as a result of not having ownership of the assets and thus being unable to carry out master plans, incentives have been given to create inventories and other means of categorising heritage, as well as diverse promotional activities for heritage (3).

We have also witnessed the recent creation of laws for cultural heritage. For the first time said laws expressly deal with industrial heritage, such as the law passed by the Asturian Regional Government in 2001 or the law concerning cultural, scientific and technological heritage passed by the Andalucian Regional Government in 2008. Similarly, a series of industrial and technical museums have been created. In addition, industrial spaces have been transformed into museums in almost all of the 17 autonomous communities. This is obviously a step in the right direction. Above all, the impact of tourism has made possible, in terms of visitors and added services, enough synergy to allow us to refer to a “critical mass” of parties interested in Spanish industrial heritage, thus creating an attractive offer for businesspersons, local mayors and governments alike (4).

In Spain, the recognition and recovery of industrial heritage has resulted in changes in cultural consumption. This is mainly due to:

  • The deindustrialisation of urban areas;
the renovation of urban and rural identities with heritage as a new milestone and icon of identity counterbalancing the uniformity imposed by globalisation.
  • The renewed pedagogic interest which teachers and students are experiencing in schools and educational centres, where knowledge and visits to museums, economic and social activity centres and landscapes are a habitual, regular occurence.
  • The revitalising force of tourism for towns, cities and rural areas, which were previously far from the most dynamic centres of tourist activity.

The conversion of industrial spaces into museums has occured in conjuntion with the industrial reconversion processes which affected Spain in the Eighties, once democracy was established after the years of the Franquist Dictatorship. At this time, mining, steel works, the textile sector, shipyards, farming and other productive sectors were subjected to painful, traumatic processes, with the laying off of workers. This gave rise to “leisure assets” consisting of numerous disused factories and industrial spaces.

The so-called “museums of the recession” appeared midway through the Eighties. In Asturias, studies were carried out concerning the possibility of creating a large coal mining museum which would be financed by European funds and created in the image of those which already existed in Nord Pas de Calais and Bochum. This museum was inaugurated in 1994. In those years the RioTinto project, in Huelva, was started. A public foundation was set up to recover the important heritage left by the most important copper mines in the world.

In Bilbao, in 1984, the first conferences for the revalorisation of industrial heritage took place. Engineers, professionals and public institutions from the Basque Country and Catalonia were already considering the creation of Technical and Industrial Museums. The result of these initiatives was the later creation of the Catalonian Technical and Science Museum, and the setting up of the Catalonian friends of the museum and industrial archaeology association, with the fundamental support of the Association of Industrial Engineers. In the Basque Country the first inventory of industrial assets was established and excellent publications made concerning their industrial history and heritage. The AVPIOP association was highly active and displayed a high degree of professionalism in this regard.

At this time, the national energy company ENDESA acquired FECSA in Catalonia and provided essential funds, along with the regional government of Catalonia, for the development of the concept of a Technical and Science Museum, which is now a reality. This converted the policies for industrial heritage in the region from the project stage into reality. In the Nineties this museum and the management system involved became a point of reference for other regions. “Necessity converted into virtue” became apparent, and disused industrial installations and impotent industrial heritage were seen as potential economic and cultural resources to be included in regional policies. In Asturias work began to this effect.

Besides the technical and industrial museums, eco-museums began to be referred to, as per the French example. Some time later, towards the end of the Twentieth Century, new concepts arose, such as mining parks and cultural parks (which even have their own legislation in the region of Aragón). More recently the concepts of geo-parks and heritage parks have come to the forefront.

The conversion of industrial spaces into museums is of ever-increasing importance in Spain. The questions of greatest interest focus on the mining heritage, as well as diverse outstanding museums in different autonomous communities.

At this time the Spanish Ministry of Culture is concentrating its efforts on the creation of decentralised museums across Spain. The national energy museum in Ponferrada, in the EL Bierzo region of León has already been set up. It is supported by the “City of Energy” Foundation, which is sponsored, and dependent on, three government ministries. Said foundation is responsible for the running of this ambitious project, designed to have an impact on the entire region, with associated routes and regional resources, such as the natural and farming heritage, Saint James’ Way, the old mining railway, other museums in Fabero and Villablino, and old castles and churches. Its first actions have been the conversion of a coal power station, dating from 1920 and belonging to the MSP company, and the conversion of old administrative buildings of the “Compostilla I” power station into “demonstration projects”. These projects are closely linked to the activity of researchers in CIEMAT who are working on the capture of CO2 gas and carrying out other energy-related research. The new work centre can be visited by the public, providing information about the new energies and materials used in these bioclimatic buildings. The location of the museum is, of course, no accident – as this is the area where ENDESA first began its activities in the Forties. It is now one of the most important multinational energy companies in the world.

Other national museums are also planned, such as the Museum of Transport in Málaga, the Museum of Science in La Coruña, the Urban Planning and Architecture Museum of Barcelona and Salamanca, as part of the policy to create national museums which are not centralised in Madrid.

The mining and industrial museums have to bear in mind points which are not often considered in Spain in relation to museology and museography (due to the lack of companies and professionals that are promoting training or realising specialist courses and postgraduate studies in Spanish Universities). These experiences need to combine the following points: didactics and play, silence and noise, seriousness and fun, the large and the small, space for groups and corners for students and activities, acoustics, comfort, lighting, proportion, harmony, rhythm, and geometry. They also have to include structural components which make these points possible, thus permitting the correct realisation of the project and the real demands of users and visitors to be met.

Over the last few years numerous mining museums have been created across Spain (5).

The greatest public investment has taken place in Almadén (Ciudad Real) with a sum exceeding 18 million Euros.

This has been provided by the Spanish state via SEPI (the State Company for Industrial Shares), which is the owner of Almadén mines, and Arrayanes SA, the owner of this enormous heritage.

From the Eleventh Century this heritage provided mercury resources, first for the Spanish Empire and then for the State, which were essential for American silver.

These were essential chapters in the world’s economic history, and the interpretation of which may be admired in the mining park of Almadén (Ciudad Real).

The industrial heritage consists of: the old San Rafael Mining Hospital, which is a building dating from 1773; the Baritel de San Andrés; the Carlos IV turnpike; the Bustamante furnaces from the Eighteenth Century; the furnaces of San Julián and San Eugenio (the only ones to be conserved from the time of their use from 1646 to 1928); the mining Academy; the underground mines (Pozo and Castillo); the cells of the Forzados Royal Prision (now converted into museums); metallic coal bearing trains from different epochs; warehouses and workshops; the outstanding bullring; and the mining complex of Almadenejos (6).

In 2008 the mining museums and thematic centres in Spain were visited by more than one million individuals. The tendency to include the landscape and natural heritage is ever growing. There are currently 72 museums and thematic centres dealing with this theme (whether already functioning or in the project phase). Some offer a “close-up” view, for example those in La Unión – Cartagena in Murcia, those in the district of Arrayanes, the mining landscapes of Linares and La Carolina in Jaen, and those centres related to wolfram in Fontao and Lousame in Galicia, to name but a few.

Other Industrial Museums in different areas of Spain have attempted to include technical and industrial history into cultural life and the lives of the citizens. Some examples of these are: the Preindustrial Sugar Museum in Motril (Granada) and the ongoing project aimed at converting the Nuestra Señora de El Pilar Factory in Motril into a Sugar Museum. In Valladolid a municipal initiative has permitted the restoration of the La Rosa flour factory in Palero, converting it into a Science museum. This museum is located to the southeast of the city in a highly degraded area which has been reclassified by this initiative.

Other outstanding elements of Spain’s industrial and military history are the arsenals of Ferrol, in Galicia, which mainly date back to the Eighteenth Century. These have exceptional and universal values (7), and represent authenticity and integrity as per the “Practical guidelines for the application of the World Heritage Convention”. In terms of industrial heritage they contain several elements from the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century of great importance. The Arsenal may only be understood from the general perspective of forming part of the “harbour system” which covers several groups: the port and its hinterland; the complementary industries of the ship yards; other factories; residential elements; and the region itself. Its Ship Building Museum is highly useful for a full understanding of Spanish industrial history.

Industrial Heritage in the value chain of active companies

We also made reference to the novel fact in Spain that some companies are beginning to include their own history into their value chains (plus their know- how, their tangible and intangible heritage, and a list of the work carried out and its protagonists).

Factory museums can be found in Germany, where Siemens has held interesting meetings in this regard (such as that held in October 2008). In Portugal there exists an association of companies with museums (Aporem), and Italy has the Museiempresa Association. Interest in this area has only recently been shown by Spanish companies. Factory museums effectively reflect what the company was, is, and hopes to be. They show their productive strengths and their production relationships.

A factory is a physical or virtual space where an object, material or service is produced. Industrial heritage finds its central expression in factories, a place of work and techniques, design and products, production relationships and work organisation.

Factories with museums attempt to show the interdependency and heterogeneity of their historical antecedents, the evolution of their techniques and products, the characteristics of the organisation and their work, the different components of their structure and values, and the value of their products.

Some examples of companies which have opened part of their facilities and processes to the public include: La Zaragozana, a beer factory; the “El Gaitero” cider factory in Villaviciosa in Asturias; AGBAR, the Barcelona water company in Cornellá; and Larios, a century-old company in Malaga dedicated to the production of rum and similar drinks with branches in Castilla and La Mancha, to name but a few.

We still need to establish discussion and reflection forums for cultural spaces, company museums, and the publicising and animation of their heritages. This will allow the conservation of industrial heritage via the reuse of old industrial installations. These will then become a reality inserted in the value chain of companies, instead of representing a burden.

There are similarities in this regard between Spanish and Latin American experiences. For example, we have the case of the Mexican multinational glass company “Vitro”; the Cuban tobacco companies such as “Partagás”; or public service companies such as the public water company “Aysa” in Buenos Aires. In these cases the Factory is the centre, testimony and witness to industrial heritage. On the other hand, the history of techniques, technology and know-how is clearly shown. The industrial heritage also includes other spaces which go beyond the buildings and spaces where the productive equipment is housed. The memory of work and the ways of viewing and understanding life, and the so-called intangible heritage are both hugely important for a full understanding of the involvement of industry, workers and businessmen in the region.

The role of industrial and factory museums requires the specialisation and training of teams. There is a need to relate the company’s world with heritage training, to establish lines of collaboration with teaching centres and teachers, and also with the cultural administrators of councils and towns.

Tourism and the reuse of Industrial Heritage

The nature and dimension of industrial heritage have a bearing on its present, causing conservation problems which are quite different to those experienced in other heritages which are more or less capable of being included in museums. In large processing works or in mining or steelworks the scale of the object is not used, but rather the scale of the landscape – with priority programmes for the restoration of objects, machinery and artefacts from the industry. We should perhaps consider industrial objects as a large container where the object being stored loses its passive condition and becomes an active subject. Here we should not talk about conservation, but rather about reuse, in the form of parks, and play or cultural facilities. Though we must also always remain faithful to the memory of the work, and the technical and social history of the place.

One of the objectives of economic and planning policies for industrial heritage in the region is the industrial landscape. The implementation of industrialisation resulted in the development of social and productive complexity. Relationships were created between companies in the same sector, between companies in different sectors, between production centres and town populations, and also between production centres and the environment. The result of this process was the creation of industrial landscapes, formed, principally, by productive centres, housing, social centres, communication links, and service infrastructures, all forming part of the regional identity. Industrial landscape as a cultural landscape is of vital importance for understanding what industrialisation meant.

One of the most interesting points over the last ten years has been the greater awareness and attention given to industrial heritage. Although this is still not enough, it has motivated initiatives for conservation and reuse in all of the autonomous communities, not just in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Asturias (the oldest industrialized regions), but also in Aragón, Valencia, Castilla y La Mancha, Madrid, Castilla y Leon, Andalusia, Extremadura, Galicia, Murcia, and the Canary Islands. This is neither the time nor the place for a detailed breakdown of all of the examples of ongoing projects, many of which are undoubtedly of value, importance and worthy of further investigation (8). I merely wish to assert that this growing interest may well mean that our industrial heritage is finally reconsidered as a “National asset”. Of course, the resources used in their recuperation require that they be socially useful and profitable (for example their role in tourism).

There are many incipient industrial tourist products in Spain, if we strictly apply the terminology of tourist economics. Only Catalonia, administered by the “Xarxa de Municipis” (Municipal network), has a more advanced programme, with associated routes and the collaboration of MNACTEC. Asturias has “the iron route” and the “coalfield route”. Industrial tourist products can also be found in Guipúzcoa, Almadén and Riotinto, and other places in Andalusia. Nevertheless, Spain has more than sufficient “industrial heritage resources” which may be used in sustainable programmes designed for that purpose. The danger lies in the use of typical approaches for touristic and economic development in these initiatives and restorations, thus overlooking the cultural dimension of Industrial Heritage.

Many tourist programmes are being carried out which are designing new products. This is currently occurring on a local scale. In Spain TICCIH is attempting to organise a series of routes throughout the country. These will be formed by routes throughout Spain which will include the most advanced sites, thus offering essential services for accommodation, restaurants, organised visits and associated routes. A meeting hosted by TICCIH in 2008 has already been held with international representatives in Tarrasa in this regard. The objective was to establish a panorama with a series of “anchor points” or fundamental sites of reference from which one may explore remains, memory sites, industrial heritage, museums and elements of intangible and tangible history of Spanish industry over the last centuries. This will allow industrial heritage to be included along with cultural and natural heritage in tourist offers and programmes across Spain.

Industrial heritage and local economy in industrial settings

The old industrial regions have a great potential for the cultural economy, despite incomprehension and negative attitudes.

New and emerging cultural industries are appearing in Spain, given the media impact and growing cultural demand for industrial heritage. There exists a real possibility of obtaining financial backing for the conservation and recovery of industrial heritage in regional programmes. These are, likewise, opportunities for the regeneration of the landscape. The programmes implement urban initiatives and social complexes in industrial and tertiary spaces which previously has little possibility of being used anew.

Tourism economies are an evermore frequent option. These are associated with services, cultural and creative industries, and “singular” hotels and accommodation. Heritage is reused, museums are revitalised, and new sources of employment created.

The preparation of supra-regional, national and international support infrastructures is required, with information shared, and awareness raised,about this new culture via regional economic promotion.

Experience from initiatives in large urban projects and the conservation of heritage in certain cities include practises which can be used to create master plans and best practice guides. This will help ensure that the memory of work and the conservation of industrial heritage does not deteriorate, and is not trivialised or loses its true meaning. Old and new industrial and civil architecture has been combined, and have helped to improve cities. However, responsible town planning is needed to ensure that centuries of history, which reflect the life and efforts of generations of people linked to industrial culture, are not converted into banal theme parks.

Regional processes for self-support solve problems of coordination and motivation. Experience indicates that an initial boost can be received from a public asset used as a demonstration project. Cultural Economy Centres and Foundations (with both private and public partners) can then be used to manage these projects.

An empty building is an element tied to the landscape, and is a witness to the social and economic environment. The use of industrial heritage in regional economies needs to play an increasingly prominent role as per the International Cultural Tourism Charter, in the sense that “Sensible, well managed physical, intellectual and emotional access to heritage assets and access to cultural development is a right and privilege.”

We will now list some facts which have been presented in addresses to the INCUNA International Conferences on Industrial Heritage over the last few years and the speeches and experiences from the last TICCIH- Spain congress, held in February 2009 in Ferrol.

Natural, cultural and industrial heritage forms part of a national strategy project which aims to generate a system or network from a map of cultural, economic and natural resources, recovered by means of global and sectorial policies at a local and regional level,is an economic resource or an acceptable object of consumption. It is always based on profound values, such as the past, identity, authenticity, and scientific and technological knowledge.


The 5thCongress for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage and Public Works in Spain was held in Ferrol from 25thto 27thFebruary 2009, organised by TICCIH-España (International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage) and attended by almost two hundred experts and specialists.

Following the debating and comparison of the different speeches and communications, which provided awareness into the status of the matter of the Industrial Heritage in Spain, the TICCIH-España Board of Directives produced the following conclusions:

  • To promote the preparation of inventories and catalogues of Industrial Heritage as management tools with valuation criteria for elements of heritage, encouraging the Autonomous Communities without them to begin projects that will lead to their implementation. These inventories should consider certain minimum criteria of homogeneity. The participation of the Ministry of Culture, IPCE, in this work would be welcomed, valuing the possibility of combining the different inventories in a network and making an Inventory of Industrial Heritage in Spain visible, with homogenous criteria and methods to become an expression of the physical testimonies surviving the country’s industrial history.
  • The need for the Public Authorities to apply heritage protection laws to their corresponding elements of industry and public works. The need for coordination among the different levels of the Authorities: departments, council departments or ministries, e.g. the Environment or Industry, to avoid contradictory decisions relating to industrial heritage.
  • The importance of the professionalisation and preparation of theoretic units relating to the protection, conservation and rehabilitation (intervention) of Industrial Heritage and of the cultural landscape in which the industrial heritage is set.
  • The need to encourage and systematise the role of the University in the study of industrial heritage, developing specific training programmes and promoting the creation of research groups to perform scientific work that includes general overviews and comparative studies at international level.
  • Include the social side of work in the interpreting of industrial heritage and insist on the dignity of its leading characters, highlighting the importance of an integral method for the analysis of the work culture personified in the industrial heritage.
  • Encourage the participation and identification of the population in the conservation of the industrial heritage, promoting the dissemination and awareness of the values of this heritage among the population and public access thereto.
  • Declare the commitment of TICCIH España with the European Landscape Convention, acknowledged by Spain in November 2007 and entering into force on 1st March 2008. The landscape must be understood as a collective value and the heritage of everyone, considering the concept of landscape in the widest sense of the word as a synthesis of natural and anthropic processes.
  • Define a conceptual framework and continue developing methods, instruments and figures of specific interventions to cover the rich complexity of cultural landscapes and the interventions on them. Demand the patrimonialisation of the cultural landscape to provide equivalent recognition to that achieved for the natural heritage. Another step forwards should even be taken to place cultural resources linked to industry as significant elements in urban and regional plans, as they are sometimes the focal point of the region.
  • The need to perform a study on existing moveable assets in public collections and encourage the visibility of those belonging to private collections. Promote the on-site conservation of moveable assets insofar as its decontextualisation reduces its perception as patrimonial assets.
  • Ask the institutions related to the conservation of the heritage for a policy of industrial moveable asset acquisitions that gives preference to
    1. Assets designed in our country
    2. Assets manufactured in our country but not invented here
    3. Assets used in this country that form a part of the material side of society at some time
    4. Assets not used in this country but that are technical milestones
    5. Non-productive assets related to the work environment.
  • Demand good practices in the restoring of immovable and moveable goods linked to the industrial heritage, bearing in mind historical, symbolic, social and cultural values, etc. that the industrial elements possess. Any intervention cannot discredit these values and must be supported by a specific methodological study, as is the case with the artistic historic heritage.


Some of those present at the 5th Congress for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage and Public Works in Spain, organised by TICCIH-España (International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage) and held in Ferrol from 25th to 27th February 2009 declared their concern for the situation of vagueness regarding the conservation of the following places or industrial assets:

  • Railway landscape of Valdepeñas between the silos of the National Wheat Service to the Electric Power Plant, including the properties standing between both (passenger building, loading bays and sheds, Bodegas Bilbaínas, Bodegas de Ramón Caravantes, La Invencible wine cooperative, air-raid shelters, Valdepeñas-Puertollano railway bridges, Pointsman’s house, Bodega Castañeda, Manuel Madrid Penot ceramics factory furnace.
  • Remains of the hydroelectric plant in Caldas de Reis (Pontevedra), Parish of San Andrés, owned by Unión FENOSA.
  • Fontao Mines, Vila de Cruces, Pontevedra.
  • Riotinto-Huelva Railway track.
  • Cazalla Station. Seville-Zafra Line.
  • Obregón Mineral concentration plant (Cantabria).
  • Cajo locomotive shops and depot (Cantabria).
  • Former sawmill at Aoiz (Navarra) and the entire complex in Iratí.
  • Can Fábegas in Mataró (Barcelona).
  • La Vega Weaponry factory (Oviedo).
  • Industrial landscape of the Mining Sierra of Cartagena-La Unión (mining 
towers, machine rooms, chimneys, furnaces, washeries, mining train and pits, etc.) subjected to a state of abandonment and pillaging, to the urban pressure of the coastline and to a project for a large port infrastructure that endanger the conservation of this industrial heritage. 
TICCIH-España (International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage) declares its support for the action taken by different associations to defend the following industrial assets over which an imminent danger is pending that would lead to their disappearance for different reasons.


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BIEL , MARIA PILAR, Jiménez ZORZO, FRANCISCO JAVIER Y LABORDA YNEVA, JOSÉ, Arqueología Industrial en Aragón, Edición de Caja de Ahorros de la Inmaculada , Zaragoza 2000

CANDELA SOTO, PALOMA: CASTILLO JUAN JOSÉ; LÓPEZ GARCIA, MERCEDES. Arqueología Industrial y memoria del Trabajo. El patrimonio industrial del Sudeste Madrileño, 1905-1950. RIADA, 7, Edición de las Consejerías de las Artes y de la Cultura de la Comunidad de Madrid. Editorial Doce Calles, Aranjuez 2002.

CARDELLACH, FELIX. Las formas artísticas en la Arquitectura Técnica, introducción crítica Julián Sobrino, edición dirigida por Joaquín Cárcamo del Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros y Arquitectos Técnicos de Vizcaya, Bilbao 2007.

CARMONA, XOAN y NADAL JORDI, (coord.) Galicia Industrial (1750-2005). Fundación Pedro Barrié d e la Maza. La Coruña 2005

CASANELLES RAHOLA, EUSEBI, El Patrimonio Industrial, nuevo concepto de su valoración, significado y rentabilidad en el contexto internacional, revista Bienes Culturales, no 7, Instituto del patrimonio Histórico español, Madrid año 2007

Recuperación y uso del patrimonio industrial, Revista Abaco, segunda época número 19, año 1998

El Patrimonio Industrial en Cataluña, revista Artigrama , Universidad de Zaragoza, revista dedicada a arquitectura Industrial 1999

Un Museo en el territorio.: El Sistema de la Ciencia y de la Técnica de Cataluña. RdM, Revista de Museologia , número 27-28, Madrid 2003

CASTILLO, JUAN JOSÉ. La Memoria del Trabajo y el futuro del Patrimonio. Sociología del Trabajo, número 52, Madrid 2004

CASTRO MORALES, FEDERICO; MARTÍN, MARCELO Y GUTIERREZ, RAMÓN (Coordinadores) . Preservación de la Arquitectura Industrial en Iberoamérica y España. Instituto andaluz del patrimonio Histórico de la Junta de Andalucía y Editorial Comares, Granada 2001.

FELIÚ TORRAS, ASUNCIÓN, (COORD); ALABERN i VALENTÍ, JOSEP (Introducción) y CASANELLES, Eusebi (Presentación). Cien elementos del patrimonio Industrial en Cataluña. Lunwerg editores, Barcelona 2002

FERNÁNDEZ GARCÍA, Aladino, Antonio Felgueroso Durán y Alejandro Fernández Braña, Patrimonio Industrial Asturiano, Edición de la empresa TSK, Gijón, 1998.

GARCÍA-POLA VALLEJO, M., Asturias: la épica del desarrollo. Forma y plasticidad, Colegio de Arquitectos de Cataluña, Barcelona, 1997.

GIRONA RUBIO, MANUEL y VILA VICENTE, JOSÉ, Arqueología Industrial en Sagunto, Ediciones Alfonso el Magnánimo, Diputación de Valencia, 1991

GUILLËN RIQUELME, MARIANO C., Los orígenes del siglo minero en Murcia. Real Academia de Alfonso X el sabio y Ayuntamiento de Mazarrón, Murcia 2004

GONZÁLEZ MORILLÓN, Juan y José Ramón Fernández Molina, La Arquitectura del hierro en Asturias, Colegio de Arquitectos de Asturias y Fundación de Cultura Ayuntamiento de Gijón, 1992.

GONZÁLEZ TASCÓN. IGNACIO, Fábricas Hidráulicas Españolas, Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Urbanismo –CEHOPU-, Madrid 1987

HERNÁNDEZ SOBRINO, ANGEL. Las Minas de Almadén, Edición de Minas de Almadén y Arrayanes SA. Madrid 2000

HERRERO PRIETO, L. C., La conservación como factor de desarrollo económico, Fundación Patrimonio Histórico de Castilla y León, Valladolid, 1998.

SANCHEZ POSE, M. D., LINAREJOS CRUZ, M., HUMANES A., «El Plan Nacional de Patrimonio Industrial», en Patrimonio industrial: lugares de la memoria, INCUNA, CICEES, Colección Los ojos de la Memoria, volumen 2, Gijón, 2002.

LÓPEZ MERCEDES, El concepto de Patrimonio. El patrimonio industrial o la memoria del lugar, revista Ábaco, monográfico sobre Arqueología Industrial, Edición Cicees, Gijón 1992.

El valor patrimonial del ferrocarril español: sus singularidades y condicionantes. Estudio sobre Siglo y medio de ferrocarril en España.( obra colectiva ) Madrid 1999

MZA. Historia de sus estaciones. Editorial Turner 1988.

MADERUELO, Javier (coord.), Actas El Paisaje. Huesca: Arte y Naturaleza. Tomos I y II, Diputación de Huesca, 1996.

MAIZ, Tomás, «De lo inerte a lo orgánico como paisaje industrial en el País vasco» Fabrikart no 1, Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao 2001

MORIS MENENDEZ VALDÉS, GONZALO, Ingenios Hidráulicos Históricos. Molinos, Batanes y Ferrerías, edición del Colegio de Ingenieros Industriales de Asturias y León, segunda edición Gijón 2008.

NADAL i OLLER, JORDI, (Director).Atlas de la Industrialización de España (1750 – 2000). Fundación BBVA,.

RAMOS, Ma Dolores, Concepción Campos y Miguel Ángel Martín (eds) Arqueología Industrial (Notas para un debate) textos mínimos, Universidad de Málaga 1991.

SABATÉ, J. y M. Schuster, (coords.), Projectant l’eix del Llobregat. Paitsage cultural i desenvolupament regional, Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña y Massachussets Institute of Technology, Barcelona, 2001.

SÁNCHEZ DE LAS HERAS, Carlos. El Patrimonio Industrial en Andalucía. Jornadas Europeas de Patrimonio 2001, edición de la Consejería de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucía, Sevilla 2001

SERRA ROTÉS, ROSA. Colònies Textiles de Cataluña. Fundació Caixa Manresa y Angle editorial, Manresa 2000.

SIERRA ALVAREZ, JOSÉ. El obrero soñado. Ensayo sobre paternalismo industrial (Asturias 1860-1917)

El Patrimonio Industrial y Minero de las áreas de montaña. El caso de la montaña cantábrica, en La montaña cantábrica, una montaña viva / coord. Por Carmen Delgado Viñas, Santander 2006

SOBRINO SIMAL, JULIÁN, Arquitectura Industrial en España 1830-1990, Ediciones Cátedra, Madrid 1996

SOBRINO SIMAL, JULIÁN. Arquitectura de la Industria en Andalucía. Edita Instituto de Fomento de Andalucía, Sevilla 1998

SUAREZ MORENO, FRANCISCO y SUAREZ PÉREZ, AMANHUY, El Patrimonio Etnográfico de Gran Canaria ( ver capítulos sobre Patrimonio Industrial ), Edición del Cabildo de Gran Canaria , Las Palmas 2005

ZABALA, MARTA, IBAÑEZ, MAITE, TORRECILLA, MARÍA JOSÉ. Arqueología Industrial en Álava , coedición Universidad de Deusto y Departamento de Cultura del Gobierno vasco, Bilbao 1992; también Arqueología Industrial en Vizcaya (1991) y Arqueología Industrial en Guipúzcoa ( 1990 )

Reports of Congresses on Industrial Heritage

I Jornadas sobre Protección y Revalorización del Patrimonio Industrial, Edita Departamento de Cultura del Gobierno Vasco, Bilbao diciembre 1982

Actas de las Jornadas de Arqueología Industrial de Cataluña, primera editada en Hospitalet de Llobregat (1991), segunda editada por el Colegio Ingenieros Industriales de Cataluña.

Actas de las Jornadas Internacionales de Patrimonio Industrial (1998 -2008), celebradas en Gijón ( Asturias) , organizadas y editadas por INCUNA, Asociación de Arqueología Industrial. En la colección “Los ojos de la memoria “. Volúmenes 1 a 9, Ediciones CICEES, Gijón, Asturias, (años 2000 a 2009.)

I Jornadas Ibéricas del Patrimonio Industrial y la Obra Pública ( Sevilla- Motril 1990) , ConsejerÌa de Cultura y medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía, coordinadores de la edición Juan Carlos Jiménez Barrientos y José Manuel Pérez Mozón, Sevilla 1994.

Actas del VIII Congreso Internacional para la Conservación del patrimonio Industrial, TICCIH. Edición a cargo de CEHOPU, Madrid septiembre 1992.

Foro de Arquitectura Industrial, Consejería de Obras Públicas de la Junta de Andalucía, coordinación Julián Sobrino, María Dolores Gil. (Sevilla 2006)

Arte, Industria y Territorio, Minas de Ojos Negros (Teruel), coordinación Diego Arribas) Teruel 2002 y 2006

Actas de la Sociedad Española de Defensa del Patrimonio Geológico y Minero (Edición anual, última editada 2008)

Congreso Vasco de Patrimonio Industrial. Gestión del patrimonio Industrial en la Europa del s. XXI., Asociación Vasca del patrimonio Industrial, Bilbao 2002

Congreso de Ingeniería de Canarias. (Varios años, último 2009) Ediciones compiladas y coordinadas Coordinación de José María de la Portilla.

Vivienda Obrera y Colonias Industriales en la península Ibérica, Actas de las Jornadas 2002 y del Congreso 2005, Gracia Dorel Farré, dirección, Jaume Perarnau y Joan Muñoz coordinadores. Edición Museu de la Ciencia y Técnica de Cataluña. Tarrasa 2009


Bienes Culturales, VV.AA. ver El Plan Nacional de Patrimonio Industrial no 7, revista del Instituto del Patrimonio Histórico Español, Madrid 2007.
Revista Patrimonio Cultural, edición del IPC , Ministerio de Cultura de España , Madrid 2008

Revista PH, Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico. Junta de Andalucía. El número 21 dedicado al patrimonio Industrial, Sevilla diciembre 1997.
Revista Ábaco de cultura y Ciencias Sociales, diversos números dedicados al patrimonio industrial, a los Museos y paisajes culturales. En primera época , número 1 (1986), segunda época ,número 1 (1992) , número 9 ( 1996 ); número 19 ( 1998) ; número 34 ( 2001) , número 44/45 ( 2004).

Revista Sociología del Trabajo, número 55 (2005), departamento de Sociología de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Revista Debats, Institución Alfonso El Magnánimo, Diputación de Valencia. Número 13, septiembre 1985
Revista L ́Ávenc , monográfico Arqueología Industrial, no 222 , Barcelona 1998 Revista de Historia Social, UNED
Revista Fabrikart, Universidad del País Vasco
DYNA, Ingeniería e Industria, Órgano Oficial de la Federación de Ingenieros Industriales de España
Revista de Historia Ferroviaria, Editorial Trea, Gijón (Asturias) números 1 a 10 ( 2003 a 2008 ).


Incuna, Asociación de arqueología Industrial (años 1998 – 2008)
Butlletí Asociación del Museo de la Ciencia y de la Técnica y de la Arqueología Industrial de Cataluña (varios años)
Boletín de la Asociación Vasca de Patrimonio Industrial y Obra Pública (varios años) De Re Metálica, Sociedad Española de Defensa del Patrimonio Geológico y Minero ( SDPGYM ) varios años )
IS, Informatiu del Sistema Territorial del Museu de la Ciéncia i de la Técnica de Catalunya.
A.CO.P.A.H., Asociación para la Conservación del Patrimonio Histórico, año 5, n o7 Mayo 200, monográfico Arqueología Industrial.

Interest norms and laws

Ley de Patrimonio Histórico Español, 1985
Ley de Patrimonio Cultural de Asturias. Edición del Gobierno del Principado de Asturias, Oviedo 2001.
Patrimonio Histórico de Andalucía, primera aproximación. Ley 14/2007 de 26 de noviembre, Edición de Junta de Andalucía, marzo 2008

TICCIH- Congress
National Report for Spain Freiberg 2009
Miguel Angel Alvarez Areces President TICCIH- Spain incuna@arrakis.es www.ticcih.es



  1. The Industrial Heritage and Cultural Asset Plan, in the IPHE gazette of the Ministry for Culture no.7, Madrid, 2007. The assets selected in the different Autonomous Regions are: The Mortil Sugar Factory (Granada); RioTinto Mines (Huelva); Marbella Blast Furnaces (Malaga); the Júzcar Tin Factory; the Santa Bárbara and Turón valley Well (Asturias); Oviedo Gas and Electricity Factory (Asturias); Salto de Grandas de Salime ( Asturias); the La Cavada steelworks and Reocín Mining Landscape (Cantabria ); Dícido Minel landing Pier ( Cantabria ), San Juan Royal Metal Factory in Riopar ( Albacete ); Puertollano Mining Landscape ( Ciudad Real ), Brihuega Bolting Cloth Factory, and Sabero Coal fields ( León ); Valsaín Sawmill ( Burgos ); Béjar Textile Industries (Salamanca ); Manresa Miralda Factory ( Catalonia ); Asland Factory in Clot del Moro ( Catalonia), Sedó Esparraguera Estate and Llobregat Industiral Estates ( Catalonia ) ; Plasencia Flour Mill ( Cáceres) ; Aldea Moret Mines ( Cáceres); Almendralejo Winery ( Badajoz); Massó Whaling and Canning Factory ( Galicia); Río Tambre Hydroelectric Power Stations and Redondela Viaducts ( Galicia ); Nuevo Baztán Workshops ( Madrid ); Isabel II canal ( Madrid ); Pontón Olive Press ; Torrelaguna Power station; Royal Upholstery Factory, “La Esperanza” Flour factory (Alcalá). La Unión and Cartagena Mining Landscape ( Murcia ); Hornillo Loading Pier ( Murcia ); El Trujal Arsenal Cartagena ( Murcia ) ; Río Iratí power stations ( Basque Country) ; Paisaia Draga Jaizkibel and Irugurutzeta Mining fields, (Basque Country) Vizcaya Blast Furnace ( Basque Country); Añara Salt works ( Basque Country); Bolt Clothing Royal Factory (Ezcaray); El Molinar de Alcoy (Valencia Region); Grao Station and Almoines Silk Factory (Valencia Region); and Valencia Tobacco Factory ; plus the railway towns of Arroyo, Malpartida and Monfragüe (Cáceres); and the railway town of Almorchón (Badajoz ).
  2. Up to now( May 2009) only ten elements or industrial landscapes have approved management plan ( masterplan) : Altos Hornos de Vizcaya; Puerto de Pasaia ( Pasajes) en Pays Barque ;Clot del Moro ( Catalonia); Pozo Santa Bárbara, Turon Valley ( Asturies); Embalse y Centralk de Grandas de Salime ( Asturies); Conjunto minero de Almadén ( Castilla y La Mancha );Sierra Minera de Cartagena- La Unión ( Murcia ); Colonia Sedó, Baix Llobregat ( Catalonia ); Canal de Castilla, Embarcadero del Hornillo en Aguilas ( Murcia)
  3. Biel Ibañez Pilar, Inventories and catalogues industrial heritage for Spain, adress presented to the 5th Congress of TICCIH- Spain , Ferrol 2009
  4. Due to the absence of statistics from observations and information from the secretary for tourism in relation to industrial tourism in Spain, we will refer to figures from studies performed by INCUNA (Industry, Culture and Nature). These indicate that in 2008 more than two million visitors passed through mining museums and centres, plus other industrial, scientific and technical museums or tourist centres related to these areas.
  5. The El Entrego Mining museum (Asturias); the Riotinto Mining museum (Huelva); the Escucha Mining museum (Teruel) The mining-cave of El Soplao in Cantabria ; The Mining museum of Puertollano; The mining museum of Cercs (Catalonia); Barruelo de Santillán Museum ( Palencia); Bellmunt del Priorat Museum ( Catalonia), Gallarta Mining museum in Vizcaya (the Basque Country); La Unión and the Sierra de Cartagena Mining Landscape (Murcia); Mining and Iron works in Sabero ( León) , to name but a few.
  6. Martínez López, Eduardo, Chairman of the Mines of Almadén and Arrayanes SA. “The Mining Park of Almadén, the mercury and silver intercontinental route”, a speech given to the Fifth Congress of Industrial Heritage in Spain, Ferrol 2009.
  7. Rodríguez- Villasante Prieto, Jose Antonio, “Cultural heritage, Logistics and Organisation of Ferrol’s Military Arsenal” address presented to the Fifth Congress of Industrial Heritage in Spain, Ferrol 2009.
  8. Alvarez Areces, Miguel Angel, National Reports presented for the TICCIH XIII Congress, Terni – Rome , 14- 18 September 2006. en Patrimoine de l ́Industrie no 15 “Spain ,National Report” pages 213 to 226, París 2006.