Royal Veiga Factory

The museological nucleus of the wool industrialisation, settled in Royal Veiga Factory complex, united in the creation of the Wool Manufacture Interpretation Centre, present itself as an open, alive, didactic museological space, where the wool manufacturing is significantly represented and it will comprise the industrialisation period of Serra da Estrela region, between the beginning if the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century. From this period remain significant materials, buildings, some in ruins, others converted, with a high architectonic quality and all have an intrinsic historic, archaeological and cultural value, and movable goods, which emphasise the specificity of Covilhã, in the patrimony and industrial archaeology perspective, which memory is part of the musealisation project that encloses the industrial period.

The Permanent exhibition of this nucleus presents essentially the wool Preparing, Spinning, Weaving and Finishing sections, underlining their technological evolution. For this reason, this space integrates a significant collection of textile machines and equipments from the 19th and 20th centuries, made of iron and other metals, wood and compound materials and textiles, underlining as an emblematic piece the Steam machine of the 19th century.

The incorporated collection of museological goods and in a continuing process of incorporation, intends to illustrate the following themes:

  • The wool industrial production stage, to distinguish and specify the several sector, enclosing the preparing, spinning, weaving and finishing, as well as the analysis of its technological evolution and transference. 
  • The technological evolution of the energy sources relating it to the presentation of machinery in the several operations of the raw-material transformation;
  • The manufacture social environment and the staging of the daily life of the business and working environment;  
  • The cloths manufacturing brands and quality control processes;
  • The presentation of textile products and design (local traditional model and the external influences);
  • The textile technique teaching taught at the Campos Melo Industrial and Commercial School of Covilhã (19th and 20th centuries);
  • The trading and the market evolution for the flowing of the production;
  • The transports, with the railway construction;
  • The presentation of the wool peninsular route;
  • The manufacturing architecture and its different typologies and the civil architecture with its working class neighbourhoods and the industrials’ mansions.

In this Nucleus General Reserves area, there are a set of machines and depot of diversified remains, which allow the setting up of temporary and thematic exhibitions as well as the contribution for the safeguard of the most significant species of the movable industrial patrimony.

The guiding principles of this museological project and programme have led to a careful selection of the remains that has been growing since 1986.  Now, about 6.593 goods have been incorporated and settled in the Royal Veiga Factory building, coming from either acquisitions (19%) to companies, businessmen, technicians and second-hand machines sellers, or donations of about 200 individuals (80%), former businessmen, technicians and textile industry workers, or depots (1%) coming from a local institution, Campos Melo Secondary School (which succeeded the Campos Melo Industrial and Commercial School, founded in the 19th century, in Covilhã). A significant collection of machines, equipments and instruments is now gathered and it represents the several manufacturing operations of the wool cloths.

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