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Cimatoria Campolmi History, culture and urban regeneration within the fourteenth-century walls

The former Cimatoria Campolmi is the only large nineteenth-century production complex still existing within the fourteenth-century walls of Prato. It extends over a total area of 10,000 square metres, within the walls, near Porta Frascati and via Santa Chiara.

Originally, in the popular district of Santa Chiara, run an important millpond which powered mills and various textile structures. It is precisely on the remains of an ancient mill that in 1863 the company Leopoldo Campolmi & Co, already active in the textile sector, built the shearing mill, dedicated to the processing and finishing of fabrics. Over the years, the factory expanded and incorporated all phases of the textile production cycle, including dyeing. Here the raw fabrics were processed through the finishing process and subjected to various processing phases, such as fulling, dyeing, shearing and calendering. The activity continued without interruption for about a century, even some work continued until the 1990s.

At the end of the 1990s, the entire building was purchased by the Municipality with the aim of recovering and enhancing a place rich in history and charm. The restoration was carried out by the Municipality of Prato, based on a project by Marco Mattei, with the contribution of the European Union.

Today, the complex houses the Textile Museum, moved to this location in 2003. The museum not only preserves the largest and most prestigious national textile collection, but also represents the historical memory of the city. It is located in the oldest part of the structure, characterized by a series of cross vaults, and inside you can still admire a huge nineteenth-century steam boiler. The wing that once housed the old factory's dye house, also known as "the cathedral" due to its ogival shape, was instead transformed into the "A. Lazzerini" Cultural and Documentation Institute in 2009.

Furthermore, in the inner courtyard it is possible to admire the splendid Campolmi chimney, the tallest in Prato, which stands majestically among the roofs of the historic centre.

Thanks to its important history, the former Cimatoria Campolmi has become, since 2012, the anchor point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH), an international network that includes the most important industrial sites in Europe. Campolmi is part of this project not only because it is involved in a continuous process of updating and cultural activities linked to the textile world, but also as a brilliant example of urban regeneration from a socio-cultural perspective of an industrial heritage that has now become the symbol of the city.

Information

  • Via Puccetti, 3 - Prato (PO)

  • Accessibility for disabled: yes