The Nobel Dynamite Factory in Carmignano

In Tuscany, memories of the war industry of the two World Wars

We find ourselves in the presence of an area completely surrounded by greenery and silence. The ruins shrouded in climbing plants that slowly, with their rhythm, hide any artificial space, transport the observer to a distant, perhaps future time, where even traces of man seem to disappear.

The is protected by two barriers: a wire mesh succeeds in its task and a belt of trees and undergrowth that would almost make one lose the sense of orientation, were it not that from time to time the gaze clings to some fragment of a staircase or column, some twisted piece of ironwork.

It is what Gilles Clement calls a reserve of the Third, sottracted to man-made territory and marked by the 'of every human decision.

We are talking about the Nobel Dynamite Factory in Carmignano, one of the most important explosives factories of the last century. A boundless industrial settlement that between the beginning of the Great War and the 1960s ensured an important distribution of weapons for both World Wars, reaching up to about 4,000 workers.

The geographical choice influenced precisely its mighty development: the industry was built just a stone's throw from the Ombrone Pistoiese, a tributary of the Arno in the municipality of Carmignano, so it had abundant water resources. But not only that, the Dynamitificio is also located in a rural area that was adequate from urban hubs and also included a reforestation project aimed at protecting the settlement from air raids.

In 1944 the area became the scene of clashes between the Germans who occupied the Dynamite Factory and local partisans. In the course of the troubles the railway station was completely removed, the victim of an attack on the plant's powder magazine with a convoy of wagons loaded with TNT, part of the partisan sabotage strategy to regain control.

As wartime needs ceased to exist, the facilities were decommissioned after World War II, but waited until the 1960s to be completely reclaimed and then became 1964, privately owned.

The grandeur and importance of the site remains evidenced by the streets, avenues and squares that at times resemble a built-up area, no doubt dazed by the noise of machinery and transited frantically by workers first, troops later. Today, however, it reveals itself as an idyllic landscape where among the linden tree-lined avenues one can glimpse the faint traces of the sparse trampling of some present-day explorer.