How it all started
It is impossible to precisely place the date of birth of Loreto's ceramics industry. However, it is believed that it appeared in this location, next to the railway line and the EN1, due to the need to move the numerous ceramics that abounded in downtown Coimbra during the nineteenth century, prevented from developing because the city itself strangled them.
It is known that on June 21, 1923, the company A Cerâmica Limitada, deeded a plot of land located in Vale Paraíso, Loreto, parish of Eiras, where it would already be built a “house of ground floor, second floor, and attic for offices, residences, and warehouse; a masonry and brick pavilion of a ground floor and three floors for machinery and a house for the power plant. Under construction would be “two pavilions, one for manufacturing faience and another for carpentry.
It is considered that this factory unit began the era of the great ceramics industry in Coimbra, having had rapid growth in the first years of production, “later reaching employing about 1000 workers and being, in its kind, one of the largest in the country.”
This industry, located on a plot of about 9 hectares, was also innovative for its time, having built a few houses for workers, a soccer field, laboratories, schools, and day care centers for the workers’ children, among others. The factory was made up of multiple buildings connected, and built on several levels.
It is believed that in 1929, the Companhia das Fábricas Cerâmica Lusitânia acquired this industrial complex.
The name and brand LUFAPO are built from the words LUsitânia, FAianças, and POrcelanas, having appeared in the mid-1940s in the context of the reconversion of the Portuguese ceramic industry after World War II. LUFAPO is intrinsically linked to the Bauhaus movement in Portugal.
It is known that the LUFAPO brand was used in household and decorative ceramics, sanitary ware, electrotechnical ware, plain and decorated tiles, ceramic mosaics, hydraulic tiles, stoneware for plumbing, and refractory products. According to the records found in the urbanistic archives of Coimbra City Hall in 1955, LUFAPO’s main building was enlarged, adding one more floor.
Unfortunately, like the other ceramic industries of Coimbra (and not only ceramics), this industrial complex declined, culminating in its insolvency. In 1977, the municipality of Coimbra is left with its lien.
Finally, in 1987, the building passed to the management of the CTCV, which again carried out expansion works, adding one more floor to building A and simultaneously constructing buildings B and C from scratch.
In 2022, CTCV created the LUFAPO HUB project. 100 years later, this new project will also be linked to the new European Bauhaus! LUFAPO HUB will be part of the joint European project to create more beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive forms of community living.
The name and brand LUFAPO are built from the words LUsitânia, FAianças, and POrcelanas, having appeared in the mid-1940s in the context of the reconversion of the Portuguese ceramic industry after World War II.
It is known that the LUFAPO brand was used in household and decorative ceramics, sanitary ware, electrotechnical ware, plain and decorated tiles, ceramic mosaics, hydraulic tiles, stoneware for plumbing, and refractory products.
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