Throughout the 20th century, Granollers became a major economic power thanks to industrialisation
Throughout the 20th century, the Vallès county became a major economic power thanks to industrialisation. The arrival of the railway; improved transport; the distribution of gas and electricity; and the water supply were fundamental for the start of an incredibly period of production, mainly spinning, textiles, metallurgy, food companies and weavers.
The transformation of the city of Granollers has gradually faded with the past but you can still see chimneys and walls that reflect the city’s large industrial complexes.
Roca Umbert. Fàbrica de les Arts
Building began on the Roca Umbert factory in 1904, where the first textile factories were installed. In the 1950s La Tèrmica was built to provide the factory with its own independent electricity supply. Roca Umbert unified the whole production process in a single factory: spinning, warping, weaving and dying. This meant that its fabrics were renowned for their quality.
Its 21,000 m² have now been reconverted into a new centre for contemporary creative arts. It still contains one of the old chimneys inside, incorporated within one of the complex’s lateral warehouses. The chimney is circular, made of bare brickwork and about 40 metres high.
This was built in 1951 and was the installation at the old Roca Umbert factory responsible for transforming and distributing the electricity used to convert cotton into clothes.
La Tèrmica forms part of the city’s remarkable heritage because it represents a type of energy production that existed in Catalonia during Franco’s dictatorship and a time of economic autarchy, and because very few such installations have survived intact up to the present day.
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Torras Villà Factory Chimney
The Can Torras factory, together with the Roca Umbert and Can Comas factories, was a prime example of the textile industry in Granollers. Today only the chimneys remain of this great industrial complex. On the rest of the land, blocks of flats have been built, as well as a part of the Torras Villà park (opened in 1947) and the bus station.
Serrería Gibert Chimney
The Serrería Gibert Chimney, which still exists, formed part of the Pi i Gibert sawmill established in Granollers at the beginning of the 20th century. The sawmill was the first factory in Granollers dedicated to making wooden packing cases and boxes for exporting fruit.
La Font Factory Chimney
La Font is considered to be the first steam-powered textile factory in Granollers.
La Font was renowned for making innovative fabrics but it also acted as a social barometer for the city. Any political or workers’ movement, strikes, protests… tended to come out of La Font, which was the place where most men were employed as weavers, while there were a lot more women in the other factories.
The chimney, together with the porticoed area, is the only industrial element still standing, symbolic of the city’s industrialisation.
Can Comas Chimney
The Can Comas factory was in operation up until 1967 when, with the textile crisis, it had to close down, like many other similar Catalan industries. According to the press of the time, the Can Comas chimney must have been the highest in the city at 35 metres. For safety reasons, it is not so high today.