Monday, November 30, 2015

Crespi d'Adda - Italy

Last summer Óscar went to northern Italy and visited some UNESCO sites, Crespi d'Adda was one of them. Later on he sent me a card from there that I'm posting here with the other card I already had. 
This italian site was inscribed in the UNESCO WHS list in 1995.

Crespi d'Adda in Capriate San Gervasio in Lombardy is an outstanding example of the 19th - and early 20th-century 'company towns' built in Europe and North America by enlightened industrialists to meet the workers' needs. The site is still remarkably intact and is partly used for industrial purposes, although changing economic and social conditions now threaten its survival. - in:

Crespi d'Adda, a genuine, ideal and picturesque village, was built by the Crespi Family in the 1800s and 1900s for the employees (and their families) of the textile factory that stands right next to the village. 
Indeed, this village is the perfect model of an architectural complex that illustrates a rather significant historical period: that of the birth of Italy’s modern industry.
Not only, but the Site was maintained in its best possible form, and to this day still bears its original urbanistic and architectonic aspects.
The Crespis at the time were textile industrialists that decided to give life to their concept of the "ideal modern work city,” in which they also realized their magnificent castle. 
Specifically, the original idea belonged to Cristoforo Benigno Crespi and his son, Silvio Benigno; the two were captains of industry and philanthropists whose intention resembled the construction of a sort of feudal fief. Thus, the habitation of the masters themselves was symbolic for both authority and benevolence toward the workers and their families. 

Ed. Mariani Manenti Priv. Nº1
The residents of the village consisted only of the factory’s employees, meaning the life of the community revolved entirely around the factory, its rhythms and demands. 
It was the master that provided all the needs of the employees and their dependents; such included housing and all the public places necessary to a real and functioning community life: church, school, hospital, recreation club, theatre, public baths, clothing and food shops, etc.
The village’s urbanistic aspect derived primarily from the presence of the factory, built along the main roadway. 
The factory is in the neo-Medieval style, with a splendid central entrance rich in decorative elements, and particularly tall smokestacks. Meanwhile, its warehouses are distributed in an orderly fashion along the main road; they are refined, with brick contours and friezes made up of eight-pointed stars. Finally, rose windows done in terra cotta embellish each facade. 
Next to the factory rises the imposing, Medieval-style main villa  (14th-Century) with its tower, symbol of the Crespi Family’s power. 
Begun in 1878, Crespi d’Adda is a functioning community still today, made up in large part descendents of the original employees that lived and worked here. The very cotton factory around which the city was founded functioned until 2004. - in:

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