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Crespi d’Adda Village


The family and village of Crespi d’Adda were founded by Cristoforo Benigno Crespi in 1878. He came from a family of dyers in Busto Arsizio (Varese) and decided to set up a new factory along the banks of the Adda on the southernmost point of the island ’”Isola Bergamasca” in order to take advantage of the power that could be generated by the water. In fact in 1877, after buying 85 hectares of land in the towns of Canonica d’Adda and Capriate d’Adda, he was granted permission to build a canal to bring water from the river to the power station. A short time later, the condominium housing (palasöcc) was inaugurated that Crespi had commissioned to house the workers he had imported from his other factories. At the turn of the 20th century, the factory complex had a spinning department with a capacity of thirty thousand spindles, a weaving department with three hundred looms and a dying area for finishing the fabrics. In that period the workers’ village continued to grow around the factory. The barracks style communal housing was abandoned in favour of a new kind of semi-detached house, each with its own garden and vegetable patch. On the occasion of the Berlin meeting in December 1995, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee declared Crespi d’Adda a World Heritage Site. It is the only factory workers’ village on the list. It is fifth on the world list of industrial archaeology sites. The factory, incidentally, was still in operation right up until December 2003.

Capriate San Gervasio