Archive for January, 2013

Quinta do Casalinho, Portugal

Posted: January 24, 2013 in Portugal
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I am back to petty Urbex, but, hey, it says up there: “abandoned places with a soul”. And even small places like this have a strong soul. So I came to Porto area to spend a couple of days with a friend. Who happened to live across the street from this abandoned farm. I think he was never on the spot though. So we came together, usual partners in these explorations when I am in the region.

After walking up a partially destroyed wall, one will see a straight trail, which goes for 300 or 400 meters, leading directly to the premises. This abandoned farm had a name: Quinta do Casalinho, owned by the Bastos, a wealthy local family. There is a main house – or at least its ruins – and some attached buildings.

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Unfortunately a jungle of thorny bushes took over all the indoors (or what used to be indoors) areas, and the explorer is limited to a glance from outside. Note the palm trees, which were very popular in wealthy properties, as a status sign. Although a considerable number of palm trees died in recent years, due to a plague of lethal beetles, it’s still common to observe these noble trees standing, alive and kicking, where human enterprises collapsed.

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This visit can be combined with some nearby spots: Fabrics Factory in Crestuma and Wine Packaging Factory in Pedroso. Ah! The entry spot can be found at this coordinates. And see the following picture.
41° 4.474’N   8° 31.763’W
Important: the coordinates are aproximate. I forgot to mark a waypoint and the entrance is not recognizable on Google Earth. Check the picture for extra help.

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After some entries with petty urbex I decided to publish something out of my archives. I was in this spot in January 2011, just before flying out from Porto to Canarias Islands. Not far from the home of the friend who hosted me for a couple of nights, we found this vintage industry, which used to be called Fábrica de Fiação de Crestuma.

This whole area used to be highly industrialized, at least accordingly to the Portuguese standards of the late 19th Century. Oh… before I carry on, let me tell you something: if you were thinking about visiting this place, forget it. Actually, this is an “in memoriam” entry. The place doesn’t exist anymore. The latest news say it’s impossible to get in and anyway the whole area is under renovation (whatever it means).  Hummm now that I think about it, back in January 2011 we met some local person who told us something about the factory being bought with plans for a renovation.

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Even when I visited, there were some buildings which had been renovated and were being used as offices and workshops. It was awkward. By then, we couldn’t enter on the spot my contact indicated. So we drove the car through the main gate which had a warning of some kind – like “private” or “for service only”. That’s when we saw these small businesses laboring in some of the premises. Then we met a crazy woman who made a big fuss about our presence there. We just ignored her and proceeded with our exploration.

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Overall, it was a great day out. Not only because we also explored another spot (see the entry here) but due to the natural interest of this fabrics factory. One thing which impressed me was the chronological layers on the spot. I mean, some parts of the complex were obviously older than the others… and finally there were areas obviously built in the last times of the functioning factory. Then, because it rains so much in Northern Portugal, there was this green – the moss green – everywhere. Great colors for photography, this blend of greens with the warmer tones of the pastels painting, the yellow stone and the light provided by the overcast day.

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As it was customary by then, the factory was strategically assembled by the river, in order to use it as a natural sewage system. Well, to end this short chronic, I would like to mention the details, specially in which used to be the hospital and the management building. Ah! I almost forgot… after exploring the factory we walked a bit on the grounds of the company and we end up finding an old house, which was definitely being used – I would rather say, it used to be used – by drug addicts. Plenty of syringes, robbed staff, including piles of mail which is taken by this people in order to find some postal payment order which they can take with some of their tricks.

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As the place is not available anymore, it’s pointless to provide coordinates.