La Encartada factory - Museum

Barrio de Peñueco, 11, 48800 Balmaseda, Spain

Former Use: Beret factory
New Use: Industrial museum
Category: Industrial Museum
Construction year(s): 1892 -
Reuse year(s): 2007 -


The La Encartada museum is located in a former woolen factory which operated from 1892 to 1992. It is a unique example of the industrial history of Bizkaia.
As well as showcasing the province’s under-represented wool industry – a driving force in introducing technical advances during the manufacturing era– the factory has remained almost unchanged since it was built. The surroundings, the workers homes, the water-powered drive system and the machinery combine to create an atmosphere that is highly evocative of the beginning of the industrial revolution.
Over the last decade, the factory has gradually been restored as a museum of the Basque textile industry.
The factory was originally constructed at the behest of an émigré from the town, Marcos Arena Bermejillo, who built the industrial complex that has remained largely unchanged to this day. Until it was closed in 1992, it took charge of all stages in the manufacturing process, buying raw wool, spinning it and then making berets (the principal product), blankets, cloths, scarves, socks, spools of yarn and ski masks. (4)
In 1991 the complex along with its machinery were declared National Momuments (BIC).

Relevant Literature:

  1. Asociacion Vasca de Patrimonio Industrial y obra publica, 2001, Viejas fábricas Nuevos usos, Bilbao, pp.46-47

Added on 2018-05-23 by editor Dora Chatzi Rodopoulou