La Tabacalera de Lavapiés

Madrid, Spain

La Tabacalera de Lavapiés

Tabacalera de Lavapiés (Tabacalera of Lavapiés) or Centro Social Autogestionado La Tabacalera de Lavapiés (Self-managed Social Center Tabacalera of Lavapiés) is a well-known cultural and social center in Madrid, Spain. It consists of a large (9,200 m2; 97,000 sq ft) set of connected buildings in the central neighbourhood of Lavapiés. The buildings are property of the Spanish Ministry of Culture, although since 2010 its use has been transferred to a local grassroots association, and since then it is managed by a local organization. The space hosts a fab lab, a theatre, several music bands, artist collectives and social activities. It is considered one of the major spots for cultural activities in the city, especially among the youth.

The set of buildings was an old abandoned tobacco factory, built at the behest of King Charles III of Spain in 1781. Beginning in 1809, the factory manufactured tobacco, employing 6,000 female workers, in a space of 30,000 m2 (355,000-square-foot). In 1977, the building was listed as part of the Spanish Cultural Heritage, receiving the Bien de Interés Cultural mention. The factory remained in operation until the privatization of the public tobacco monopoly Tabacalera in 1999, when the buildings properly was transferred to the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

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