Fábrica de Papel em Serpins
THE ABANDONED FACTORY IN PORTUGAL
This is Fábrica de Papel em Serpins, an abandoned paper factory along the river Ceira.
The first paper factory in this little Portugese village Boque was built in 1804. The ‘Boque Paper Factory’ was founded in the year 1861 by José Joaquim de Paula. He was a known industrialist. For example he also founded the Paper Mill of Góis in Ponte do Sótão in 1821.
The Boque factory was inaugurated in 1868. At the time, it had the first machine to produce continuous paper in Portugal. Not much later, in 1870, the factory was sold to ‘Viúva Macieira e Filhos’ and renamed ‘Fábrica de Papel em Serpins’.
Access to the industrial complex was improved throughout the 20th century. Firstly by the construction of the railway between Coimbra and Lousã, with a stop at Serpins in 1930. Secondly through the construction of a bridge over river Ceira, a few meters to the east of the buildings.
The paper factory stopped production in the 1980s. As a result it was definitively closed in January 1986. The then abandoned factory housed machinery of enormous interest for industrial archeology. During my visit the original machinery was still there, untouched for more than 30 years. I visited the factory in 2016. Sadly, a huge forrest fire destroyed everything in 2017.