Manresa preserves the oldest river factory in Catalonia and southern Europe, a first-rate heritage element that is currently celebrating its bicentenary
In the city where you live, there are always a series of monuments that you have lived with for years and years, that you feel like yours and that in everyday life have become transparent. You walk past them and you don’t notice them because they’ve always been there. Rarely have you had the time and the mental state to get into its meaning.
And this happens in most citizens of this city – Manresa – with the “Panyos”, this old factory, which when we see it, we are impressed by its grandeur and the visual impact of so many windows – they say that as many as days has the year. However, we need to take a leap and move from the “foreground”, what is given to us directly, to the “background”, what it represents and means.
And we find a cultural asset of the first order, a key element of the Industrial Heritage of our country, the first factory – which may have this name – that is preserved and that with the necessary corrections can become visitable and be the benchmark of the industrialization of our country.
The documents at hand date the factory to the 1920s. Now it’s time to celebrate the bi-centenary. To this end, two years ago, a group of interested people met from the Museum of Technology of Manresa (historians, technical professional associations, members of the AMCTAIC, municipal technicians, Bages Study Center, Manresa Turisme …..) which started a research project and which has led to the celebration of two very participatory Conferences in which the debate has been very enriching.
It must be said that the factory is already recognized, which enjoys the qualification of BCIL (cultural asset of local interest) and appears in an immensity of texts and catalogs on the Catalan Industrial Heritage. It should also be noted that the City Council has recently carried out major repairs, especially on the roof of the factory, enough so that the structure is not endangered,
In these two years, an attempt has been made to delve into the meaning of the building and contemplate it in a much broader historical context, and to delve into its place within the context of the process of industrialization in Catalonia. It can be proclaimed that this process began in Bages and that the “Panyos” is the oldest material element, a symbol of Catalan industrialization.
The future of this “jewel of the country” will depend on the extent to which citizens understand its value, on the extent to which the Public Administrations (starting with our City Council) are involved. I am sure that the appearance of this monograph in Dovella magazine – in which most of the people who have taken part in the debates are involved, each from their own particular point of view, will mark a before and an after, will mark a milestone from which the future of the “Locks” is no longer a matter of city but a matter of country.
Josep Alabern Valentí.
President of the Association of the Museum of Science and Technology and Industrial Archeology of Catalonia (AMCTAIC).
Vice-president of the Fundació Aigües de Manresa – Junta de la Séquia.
Yesterday the third Technical Conference of the Panyos was held at the Museum of Technology of Manresa. The Conference is part of the celebration of the bicentenary of the construction of the Panyos factory, which has been in preparation since 2018.
The event was attended by the institutional presentation of the Mayor of Manresa, the Ilm. Sr. Marc Aloy, the councilor for culture, Mrs. Anna Crespo, and Josep Alabern, vice-president of the Fundació Aigües de Manresa-Junta de la Sèquia, were divided into two parts.
In the first part, Dr. Josep Oliveras Samitier, professor of regional geography at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, spoke about Manresa in the beginnings of Catalan industrialization, highlighting the role of the Panyos factory as the initiator of the Catalan industrial revolution .
This was followed by the presentation of a monograph in the magazine Dovella dedicated exclusively to the Manresa factory, considered the first in Catalonia and throughout southern Europe. The presentation of the new issue of the magazine Dovella was given by Francesc Comas, historian and president of the Center d’Estudis del Bages and by Lluís Virós, historian and professor of economic history.
Forty people attended the event, where all the prevention measures, mask, disinfectant gels and social distancing between the attendees were complied with.
Next Sunday, the 11th, as part of the European Heritage Days, there will be guided tours of the Panyos factory from 10 am to 1 pm, where you can also purchase a copy of the magazine presented yesterday.
From the 6th to the 11th of October, various activities have been prepared in Manresa in order to enjoy the city’s heritage. The activities will revolve mainly around the dry stone heritage, the Fàbrica dels Panyos and the Basilica de la Seu.
This resonant cultural event arrives all over Europe in October. The doors of monuments and heritage facilities around the world are open with guided tours and various activities to make them known and closer to the public. The objectives: to enjoy this cultural legacy and to make everyone aware of its cultural and social value.
Manresa has an exceptional cultural heritage with many emblematic elements and feels especially involved in this day. Despite the restrictions imposed by the health crisis, the city is offering a very attractive program of small group activities this year.
This year, the activities revolve mainly around three elements:
• The dry stone heritage, declared an Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2018 and of which we have a large number of witnesses in Manresa. To make it known, there is the exhibition “Tota pedra fa paret” in the Casa Lluvià (carrer de l’Arquitecte Oms), which can be visited until October 18 from Wednesday to Saturday from 18 to 20.30 h. On Tuesday the 6th, at 7.30 pm, in the Casa Lluvià itself, there will be a lecture by Jaume Plans who will present the inventory of the dry stone elements in the municipality of Manresa, of which he is the author. And on Saturday the 10th there will be a guided tour of the Parc del Secà, where you can see live the restored terrace system and the different unique elements that are part of it.
As a unique activity, a small ad hoc show has been created with the title “Dry Stone Poems”, which includes a reading of poems by the author Nati Soler Alcaide, recited by the Manresa actors Txell Vall and Ivan Padilla and accompanied by the accordionist Guillem Anguera and the unique sound of the stone txalaparta by TXEK, which will take place on Friday 9 October in the courtyard of Casa Lluvià.
• The Panyos factory, the oldest preserved river factory and a symbol of the beginnings of industrialization in Catalonia, a cultural asset of national interest and one of the first 50 items listed in the Inventory of Spanish Industrial Heritage by the Instituto del Patrimonio Histórico of Spain. As part of the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the beginnings of the factory, a day has been scheduled at the Museu de la Tècnica with a lecture by Dr. Josep Oliveras Samitier on Manresa on the beginnings of Catalan industrialization. The Bages Study Center will then present the monographic issue of the Dovella magazine dedicated to the Locks. And on Sunday the 11th the doors of the factory will reopen with guided tours from 10 am to 1 pm.
• The Basilica of the Cathedral, one of the most important Gothic churches in the country and the city’s heritage emblem. In this edition of the JEP, on Friday the 9th in the afternoon there will be the conference “Manresa and its county. From the arrival of the Carolingian power to the endowment of the year 1020” by Xavier Costa, doctor in Cultures Medieval and graduate in History. This paper is part of the “Cycle of Romanesque knowledge” that the Cathedral of Manresa will offer on 9, 23 and 30 October on the occasion of the Millennium of the redemption of the basilica.
In parallel to these events there will be the inauguration of the ceramic sculpture installation by Esperança Holgado “Anthropocene (Humans vs. Earth)” at the Museu de la Tècnica, also a visit to Manresa Cor de Catalunya organized by the Manresa Tourism and Fairs Foundation and open doors at the Manresa Museum, Carrer del Balç and the Manresa Cathedral.
This program of activities is possible thanks to the participation and collaboration of different people, entities, institutions and facilities with the impetus and coordination of Manresa City Council.
All activities are free, but due to the security measures resulting from the pandemic, capacity is limited and prior reservation is required to take part. Each activity has its own means of making a place reservation, as broken down in the attached program.
You can consult all the information of the activities in Manresa a
And the program of activities throughout Catalonia a