Route of Industrial Architecture

In twentieth century architecture, we should not overlook the signification of engineering works. The nature of these types of constructions is derived, in many cases, from the direct relationship between form and function, thereby making industrial architecture the synthesis of all the elements that constitute construction in the Modern Movement.

Andalucía has a history of industrial architecture that is unique in Spain. This history is the result of the region's rich natural resources, which have long made it an important center for mining and other heavy industry. As a result, Andalucía is home to a number of remarkable examples of industrial architecture, ranging from massive power plants to intricately designed mines.

The buildings lack second interpretations. Their main qualities are the purity of their form, their adaptation to their surroundings, the simplicity of their exterior volumes, and the presence created by construction materials that are reduced to doing their specific job. From the beginning of the project, several factors are present that establish new relationships between construction methods and a building’s expressive qualities: technical innovation, metal or post- tension concrete structures, the alteration of the concepts of transparency and illumination, manifest in the use of laminates and large glass surfaces. The relations between the parts and the whole give way to unitary objects that exhibit a certain order. An order that is born from the systematic repetition of simple elements. An idea, which can be directly related to mass production.

On the different routes, we will recommend structures that include bridges, markets, train stations, naval yards, as well as facilities for distributing gas or electricity derived from such diverse sources as the sun, water or the wind.


  • El Chorro hydroelectric plant: Built in 1921, this hydroelectric plant is still in operation today and is a notable example of industrial architecture in Andalucía. The original path was built between 1901 and 1905 by the Sociedad Hydroelectrica del Chorro (Chorro Hydroelectric Society) to take advantage of the 100m drop in the river Guadalhorce. The construction required a small dam, a canal, an arch-supported aqueduct across the gorge, and 1,400m of aqueduct-tunnels. (Map)
  • Central Térmica de La Misericordia: This chimney is part of the old thermal power plant of La Misericordia and is considered a Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC), or a Property of Cultural Interest. (Map)
  • Fábrica Energía Eléctrica: This chimney is part of the old electricity factory. (Map)
  • Fábrica de Electricidad Fiat Lux: This chimney is part of the old Fiat Lux electricity factory. (Map)
  • Chimenea de la Fábrica de Abonos La Trinidad: This chimney is part of the old La Trinidad fertilizer factory.
  • Chimenea de la Fábrica de Aceites Larios: This chimney is part of the old Larios oil factory. (Map)
  • Fábrica de azúcar Nuestra Señora de la Victoria: This chimney is part of the old Nuestra Señora de la Victoria sugar factory.
  • Chimenea de la fundición de Plomo "Los Guindos": The Chimenea de los Guindos, also known as Torre Mónica, is an industrial chimney situated in Málaga, Spain. It was once part of the Los Guindos lead smelting factory’s industrial facilities. The factory was constructed in 1923 on San Andrés beach for the purpose of smelting lead from the Los Guindos mine in La Carolina, located in the Linares-La Carolina mining district. The chimney was designed by German architect Félix von Schlippenbach and built using refractory brick to withstand acid. It stands at a height of 106 metres. The factory and workers’ housing were designed by Strachan. The chimney’s base is quite sturdy and its foundations are eight metres deep due to its proximity to the beach and humidity. It was inaugurated in 1924 by Primo de Rivera during a visit to the city. Its purpose was to transfer toxic gases from the factory to higher areas of the atmosphere. (Map)
  • Tabacalera: The Tabacalera Building is a magnificent structure situated in Málaga, Spain. It was constructed in the 1930s using Mudejar architecture and originally served as a tobacco factory where cigarettes and cigars were produced. The building has since undergone renovations and now houses both the Automobile Museum and the Russian Museum. Today, visitors can still see the beautiful tiles that were used for benches and to decorate the buildings. (Map)


  • Azucarera del Guadalfeo: This sugar factory, located in the province of Granada, was in operation until its closure in 2006. It was the oldest sugar factory in production in Granada and the entire southern region of Spain, with its operation dating back to 1861. The factory was a unique example of an activity that has now disappeared but was for centuries the way of life for a large part of the population on the Mediterranean coast and is now an undeniable hallmark of the entire coastal area where sugar cane was grown and exported to America. (Map)
  • Azucarera Nuestra Señora del Carmen: This sugar factory is located in the province of Granada. (Map)
  • Azucarera San Torcuato: This sugar factory is located in the province of Granada. (Map)


  • Macael: Macael is inexorably linked to the word marble. 5,000 years ago, the inhabitants of the settlements in the area were already taking advantage of the white marble stones dragged by the river to sculpt small figures that were deposited in burials, an example of what was only the beginning of the local industry that developed from marble. A hallmark of the Almerian region, Macael also exploits its industry to introduce its visitors to the life and history of the municipality. Facilities and initiatives such as the Marble Interpretation Center, the Quarries Viewpoints, the Macael Corners itinerary, organized visits to sculpture and craft factories and workshops or the Marble Trail are shown to visitors to show the rich industrial heritage of the area. The visitor can thus take a tour of the history of the municipality, get to know the quarries and the artisans who work in them and the most modern production methods of this industry. (Map)
  • Mina de Rodalquilar is an abandoned mining complex located in the town of Rodalquilar, which belongs to the municipality of Níjar, in Almería, Spain. The discovery of gold in Rodalquilar occurred by chance in 1864. The last stage corresponds to the public company Adaro. From 1956, about 600 tons of ore were processed daily from the Cerro del Cinto quarries. The Denver plant (located next to the Mining Museum) closed in 1966 due to the depletion of the veins. (Map)


Some recommended places to visit in Huelva are the Wharf and the Santa Fe Market, which is the only known example in the world of 19th century industrial architecture made with a square plan on three levels following the system of French engineer Antoine-Rémy Polonceau.

  • Corrales Thermal Power Plant: The Corrales Thermal Power Plant is a thermal power plant located in the town of Corrales, in the province of Huelva. (Map)
  • Corrales Converter Building: The Corrales Converter Building is an industrial building located in the town of Corrales, in the province of Huelva. (Map)
  • Tower of the Alicantinos: The Tower of the Alicantinos is an industrial tower located in the province of Huelva. (Map)


  • Jimena de la Frontera: This town in Cádiz, located within the Los Alcornocales Natural Park, has the remains of what was once the Royal Artillery Factory on the outskirts of the urban area, at the foot of its castle. (Map)


  • La Cartuja: La Cartuja is a ceramic products factory located in Sevilla. It was founded in the 19th century and produced ceramics for both domestic and international markets. (Map)
  • Tobacco Factory: The Tobacco Factory is a state-owned factory located in Sevilla. It was built in the 18th century and is one of the most important examples of industrial architecture in Spain. Today, it houses the rectorate of the University of Sevilla. (Map)
  • Artillery Factory: The Artillery Factory is a state-owned factory located in Sevilla. It was founded in the 16th century and produced weapons for the Spanish army. Today, it houses the Andalusian Contemporary Art Center. (Map)


  • Alhambra Beer Factory: The Alhambra Beer Factory is an industrial building located in Córdoba. It was recently declared an Emblematic Building by the College of Architects of Córdoba for its industrial architecture. (Map)

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