Fábrica de Fiação e Tecidos do Rio Vizela
THE ABANDONED TEXTILE FACTORY IN PORTUGAL
‘Fábrica de Fiação e Tecidos do Rio Vizela’ is a factory located North-East from Porto. It was one of the most important textile mills in the history of Portugal, using modern spinning and weaving techniques.
The factory was built by technician Eugénio Cauchoix. He would later become the technical director of the company. In September 1845 the factory was officially opened and named ‘Fiação de Visella’. During the early days, the factory was housed in only one building. The factory had four floors and was inspired by the classic English textile mill architecture.
Cotton used in textile production was imported from America and Brazil and was later sold in both Porto and Lisbon. Already during the first years, the factory went through a crisis because of the high taxes on the imported cotton. However, as of 1861 problems were solved and the factory even expanded at the other side of the river.
In 1912 a fire killed two factory workers. During the spring of 1914, the company eventually gained its new name ‘Fábrica de Fiação e Tecidos do Rio Vizela’.
In the 1950s, the factory employed three thousand workers. The employees worked with 31.624 spindles and 1,200 looms. In 1968 the owner died and from that point on, the crisis and mismanagement led to the closing of the factory. In 1973 the factory is sold. But the company never reached the golden age of yesteryear. 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.