The Tsalapatas rooftile and brick factory in Volos, the Greek coastal city in the Thessaly region, was built in the 1920s and named after its co-founders, Spyridon and Nikolaos Tsalapatas. From the outset it had a Belgian touch to it as its equipment and the engineers, who provided the knowhow for the unit’s construction, hailed from Belgium.
During its long life, the facility produced various products, including bricks of various sizes, Greek-type (Byzantine) rooftiles, as well as French-type (Marseille) rooftiles.
The factory initially employed between 125 and 150 people, and as many as 250 in the ensuing years. Annual production – rooftiles and bricks combined – reached approximately eight to nine million units.
The enterprise began exporting in 1934. In 1955, Volos was struck by a series of devastating earthquakes that flattened many parts of the city and the factory suffered extensive damages.
By 1975, the enterprise was no longer able to meet its financial obligations, leading to its closure that year. In 1995, the old facility was listed by the Greek Culture Ministry.
The transformation of the factory – symbolizing a bygone era for Volos, when the city played a pivotal role in Greece’s industrial sector – into a museum was made in a comprehensive fashion. Visitors do not merely see the old production unit’s machines and tools on display, but experience the facility in its entirety. The production chain has been reconstituted step by step to include trolleys, clay silos, grinders, compressors, cutters, dryers and the imposing Hoffmann kiln, nowadays subtly lit.
According to history, the kiln stopped operating just twice in its lifetime, during the Nazi Occupation of Greece in World War II and in the period when Volos was hit by powerful earthquakes.
The N. & S. Tsalapatas Rooftile and Brickworks Museum belongs to the museum network of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation.
• Open daily (except Tuesdays)
• Admission: 3 euros
• Address: Notia Pyli (southern gate), 38334, Volos
• Tel. +30 24210.298.44,