Thursday, June 8, 2017

Visiting La Encartada

One of two museums dedicated to the beret is the La Encartada Museoa in Balmaseda in Bizkaia, Spain. The factory was established by Marcos Arena Bermejillo in 1892 and continued production until it's closure a century later, in 1992.
In 2007 the factory re-opened as a museum, displaying a range of machines for processing wool originating in many parts of Europe.
Visiting La Encartada on a Friday morning, I found the door closed and, with little hope started caling and banging on the door. To cut a long story short, I was giving a personal tour by one of the workers at te place and thoroughly enjoyed seeing what I saw!
La Encartada displays a traditional Basque factory, but it also shows how entrepreneurs were able to integrate machines from many European countries into a single manufacturing process. 
Nearby are several workers’ houses, some built at the same time as the factory and some from the early twentieth century, showing how community and factory were closely related; there was even a school on the factory grounds for the workers' children.
Some of the most enjoyable displays were the beautifully kept vehicles that were used to transport the boxes with berets to the railway station in Balmaseda for further distribution in Spain and abroad.

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