in

The Remains Of A Nineteenth-Century Chocolate Factory Were Discovered At A Construction Site In Barcelona, And Researchers Have Since Created 3D Images Showing What The Workshop Looked Like While In Operation

gatsi - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

Chocolate has been a treat enjoyed by humans for centuries. In several countries, the confection is a significant part of their cultures and cuisine. Last year, the remains of a chocolate factory from the 19th century were uncovered at a construction site in Barcelona, Spain, during renovations of a four-story building in the Cuitat Vella.

The Barcelona Archaeology Service intervened to investigate the ancient remains. The architectural structure once functioned as a workshop for Clemente Guardia, a Catalonian chocolate company.

However, before it became a chocolate factory, the building served several other purposes. For instance, studies of its doors, walls, and arches show that it was a medieval mansion in the 14th century. The home was owned by Pia Almoina, a Barcelona charity dedicated to helping people in poverty.

Between the 15th and 16th centuries, the mansion was utilized as a hostel called the Hostal de Sant Pere. In the early 18th century, it was split up into three properties. Seven large ceramic containers were found dating to this period, but archaeologists have not yet determined its contents. Researchers also located large tongs within the site.

It wasn’t until the late 1800s that part of the space finally became a chocolate factory. The existence of the workshop was confirmed after referring to historical records that documented Barcelona’s 1888 World’s Fair. The fair was held to celebrate the city’s industrial and cultural development. About 30 other countries, such as China, Japan, and the United States, attended the festivities.

“In the Almanac of the Universal Exhibition of 1888, the factory appears referenced in the address of Plaça de la Llana, 23 as: ‘Guardia (Clemente). Chocolate and pastillaje,'” wrote the Barcelona Archaeology Service in a translated statement.

In addition, advertisements published in the 19th century in La Vanguardia, a Spanish newspaper, state that Clemente Guardia began running in 1824. They also detailed some of the goods that the chocolatier made, such as “vanilla and stone chocolates.”

At the factory, researchers from Global Geomàtica SL, a cartography and topography company, found lead plates that were used to make labels. The plates featured elaborately designed illustrations, the name of the confectionary’s brand, and the word “Barcelona.”

In addition, researchers have also scanned and created digital three-dimensional images of the site, allowing people to see what the workshop looked like when it was still in operation.

gatsi – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2