You are here

What is industrial heritage and what is part of it ?

All sites, buildings and collections that are considered as 'industrial heritage' can distinguish and promote themselves wearing the INDUSTRIANA label.

What is and includes the industrial heritage ?

Industrial archaeology is the study of the physical remains of past industrial activities and the industrialised society.
The remains of these activities are called the industrial heritage.
They can be concerned with the extraction and processing of raw materials, the use of new technologies and tools in farming and forestry, the production of all types of utensils and facilities - from needles and cloth till steam engines and motor cars - with transport in general, trade and commerce, with other services such as gas, electricity and water supply, and the material situation in which men and women lived, as the typical worker’s housing.
In brief: it are all those things that caused the most profound change in human life since the agricultural revolution in prehistory.

The notion ‘industrial heritage’ deals with the material foundations of the industrialized societies.
It thus not only includes industrial buildings and machinery, but also the relics associated with the industrial process,
•    somebody who
•    produces
•    something
•    somewhere
•    for somebody
It are the remaining traces of the life, living and working conditions of men and women of the industrial age. The landscapes and industrial towns created by industry, the buildings, the equipment, fixtures and fittings needed to produce the goods. The transport systems to move raw materials and products, to bring them to places where they were processed or sold to consumers,... - roads, waterways and waterfront heritage, railways, bridges, airfields,...
The housing of those involved in the industrial process (eg, workers housing, inner courtyard and back-to-back houses and garden cities) and parts of the distribution and selling system for industrial goods.
It are the material (immovable and movable), but also the intangible remains (the surviving know-how, past technologies and traditions) that all tell us the story of our industrial past.

Many thousands sites

There are in the member states of the European Union and the member states of the Council of Europe  thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of sites and places  that witness of the European industrial past and traditions. They all can acquire and use the INDUSTRIANA facade label to announce and promote their existence, to inform the passer-by about their history and backgrounds.
Each site which, in good or bad condition, has something to tell to passers-by, tourists and local residents.
Each site that would like to tell its story, and the role played in the past, but also its values for today and tomorrow
Each site that can illustrate and tell the industrial history of a village, city, province, region, or even a country.
They can be

  • ruins or remains of an industrial building, even the places where little is seen on the surface but where archaeological traces remain below ground level
  • museums presenting the history of industry, science and technology (reaching from a brewery museum, textile museums, the museums of local industry, till maritime, railway and transport history museums - just to give some examples)   
  • traditional and 'museum' workshops, producing traditional products using ancient techniques, as an old weaving workshop where traditional cloth is produced on an old loom, the workshop of a maker of wooden shoes or baskets, a paper maker, a smithy or a foundry,...
  • the traces, bridges and viaducts of an old railway line which maybe has been turned into a footpath or a bicycle trail, its maybe derelict railway stations or signal boxes,... or which is now used as a tourist railway where old trains are running and carrying passengers
  • industrial buildings that have been re-used, a textile mill or a warehouse changed to lofts, a brewery that became a cultural or exhibition center, an old hangar now a sports center,...
  • sites that are landmarks in their neighborhood, as a blast furnace, a water tower, a harbour crane or the chimney of a disappeared textile mill
  • companies that are proud of their history and tradition
  • etc...


Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer