Fábrica de Fiação e Tecidos do Rio Vizela


‘Fábrica de Fiação e Tecidos do Rio Vizela’ is a factory located North-East from Porto. Constructed under the supervision of technician Eugénio Cauchoix, the factory opened its doors in September 1845 as ‘Fiação de Visella’. Initially housed in a single building, the factory boasted four floors and drew inspiration from the iconic architecture of English textile mills.


Operating in the heyday of cotton production, the factory imported raw materials from America and Brazil. Later distributing its products in the bustling cities of Porto and Lisbon. Despite facing early challenges due to hefty taxes on imported cotton, the factory overcame obstacles and expanded across the riverbank by 1861.

Tragedy struck in 1912. A fire claimed the lives of two workers. This led to a somber rebranding as ‘Fábrica de Fiação e Tecidos do Rio Vizela’ in 1914. By the 1950s, the factory had become a thriving hub of employment, with a workforce of three thousand operating 31,624 spindles and 1,200 looms.

Period of decline

However, the winds of change blew unfavorably in 1968. With the passing of the factory owner, ushering in a period of decline marked by mismanagement and economic hardship. Despite a brief ownership change in 1973, the factory never regained its former glory. Ultimately, the factory was succumbing to closure.

Explore the remnants of this once-vibrant industrial complex and uncover the tales of its past. These photos of ‘Fábrica de Fiação e Tecidos do Rio Vizela’ are taken in 2016 during my road trip through Portugal. Follow this link for more urbex locations.

Built in 1845
Abandoned in 1990
Redeveloped in 2018
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