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Cathedral de Vino

“On the outskirts of a small city lies a hidden concrete cathedral of wine. The exterior is plastered with graffiti, but the interior is very serene and beautiful. Besides the sounds of the nearby city, only some pigeons were audible.”

Jan Stel, Cathedral de Vino-01

Cathedral de Vino-01

Jan Stel, Cathedral de Vino-02

Cathedral de Vino-02

Jan Stel, Cathedral de Vino-03

Cathedral de Vino-03

Jan Stel, Cathedral de Vino-04

Cathedral de Vino-04

Jan Stel, Cathedral de Vino-05

Cathedral de Vino-05

Jan Stel, Cathedral de Vino-06

Cathedral de Vino-06

The buildings of the Cathedral de Vino were constructed between 1920 and 1922. The factory was a cooperative in the manufacture and sale of wine. In its heyday, the winemaking cooperative had more than 500 socios (members). These local holders would bring their grapes to the winery and they'd use the communal fermenting and bottling plant to produce their own volumes of wine. They trampled the grapes to pulp with their bare feet in wooden tons. Big cast iron presses squeezed the juice out of the pulp. The wine was then transported by small rails to the concrete cylinders where it has the time to age. The scale of these cylinders is absolutely massive, yet they are almost elegant and feminine. Due to large debt, bureaucratic neglect and disuse, the factory eventually became forgotten.

Listed as an architectural heritage site, this beautiful factory deserves to be preserved within the scenic and rolling hills of Spain.

“I revisited this fascinating factory in 2013. Skaters had created jump boards into the white, serene cathedral-like buildings. Sadly enough, graffiti had also appeared on the walls. Some parts had undergone small restorations but these had stopped as quickly as they had started. Windows were blocked by concrete blocks to keep unwanted visitors out but luckily my old hidden entry was still open to enter.”