Over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries, the town gradually lost its glamourous image as a place of leisure. However, it still managed to preserve its position as an important producer of construction materials, such as limestone, bricks, tiles and granite from the nearby quarries. In fact, this granite was used in the construction of the Church fo San Francisco el Grande in Madrid, the castle at Villaviciosa de Odón and many other significant buildings.
In the mid-19th century, the local economy received a boost and the town finally joined industrial society with the opening of the "Falcó y Callejo" Fine Ceramics Factory, thanks to the discovery of nearby kaolinite deposits and the town's proximity to Madrid.
The Juan Falcó Porcelain Factory
Also known as the Sociedad de la Aulencia (The Aulencia Company), founded in 1845, the factory produced fine crockery with high-quality designs that won many national and international awards. Its work was even highly appreciated by the royal family, who ordered tableware for Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII. (1)
In 1912, the factory was forced to close due to the exhaustion of the local kaolinite mines and difficulties with transportation. At the time, produce had to be securely transported by road, either by cart or on horseback, at least until El Escorial. Both issues put the factory at a competitive disadvantage at a time when the market was opening up and it was becoming cheaper to import crockery from abroad. (2)
A New Era
In 1915, the factory was purchased by Juan Giralt Laporta and operations began once again in Valdemorilla with the construction of two new kilns. The factory would now be dedicated to glass, electrical insulators and hard porcelain for laboratory use.
In 1937, the factory was bombarded during the Battle of Brunete, and the only parts left standing were the three kilns, known as the Three Chimneys.
House of Culture
The transfer of the land to the town hall enabled the construction of the Casa de Culture (The House of Culture), which was inaugurated in 1999.
This unique building was built around the surviving chimneys and perfectly preserves the feel of a factory to reflect the town's history. You can see this in the buildings original design and the materials used in its construction, which are mostly ceramics.
Today, this iconic building is an important cultural centre boasting an auditorium, an exhibition hall and a number of classrooms and workshops, where countless cultural activities are held for local residents and visitors alike.