The Villarluengo Factories

The Villarluengo Factories

abandoned factory in villarluengo

About 7 kilometers from Villarluengo in the direction of Ejulve, on the same road A-1702 “The Silent Route”, is the area known as “Las Fábricas”.

In 1789, in the 18th century, a paper factory was installed here, which used the water from the Guadalope River to carry out its work. It was owned by the Temprado family, and was the first continuous paper mill that existed in Aragon and also in Spain, being a model of its kind and the latest technology of the time. It produced continuous paper, envelopes, lined books and paper money, all of excellent quality, so that almost all the production went to Madrid, on the backs of 16 donkeys, which were on the payroll along with the 4 muleteers, to supply various Ministries. They spent a month going there and back, and on their return they collected rags that were used to make rag paper.

For unknown reasons, the factory passed into the hands of the Bonet de Villarluengo family, who converted it into a textile factory, adapting everything to the production of sashes. They were succeeded by the Artola family of Cinctorres, who set up 24 looms, installing electric lighting from the very first moment, the second in the province of Teruel (the first was in the capital). Later on, the number of looms was increased to 46, the factory buildings were erected (the “De Arriba”, the “De En Medio” and the “De Abajo”), housing for the owners, the management and the workers, who numbered 200, coming from all the surrounding villages, as well as stores, a school, a kiln and even a chapel.

The production was adapted to the needs of each moment, thus, during the First World War, the main production were djellabas for the legionaries in Africa and red caps sold in Rabat. When the sashes fell into disuse, work began on canvas for sacks or bags and for saddlebags and, finally, on fabrics and spinning assortments, using the most modern automatic looms that were known, renewing all the machinery.

After the war, insecurity and official quotas, which reduced production and profitability, brought the factories to an end and they were closed in 1958.

On May 23, 1974 the “Enmedio” factory became the “Hostal de la Trucha”, with about 70 rooms. This hotel is now being remodeled and will soon be operational.

More information:
Salillas, José Manuel, El Hostal de la Trucha. Villarluengo textile and paper mills. Ed. Radio Terrasa. 1995.

“Las fábricas de Villarluengo”, in Peirón nº 11, Journal of the Centro de Estudios del Maestrazgo Turolense (CEMAT), Teruel, 2007.