THE ANCIENT TANNERY

our history

FROM 1700 TO THE PRESENT DAY

The history of L’Antica Conceria begins in 1779. At this time, the building was just a ramp dug into the rock and belonged to Antonio Vigorito.

Subsequently, the site was used to produce olive oil as is evidenced by the discovery of two stone millstones.

In the early 1900s, it became a tannery which was extended in 1945 when a further buildings were added.

The tannery was run by Francesco Saverio Montemurro known as “Barrok” and later by his son Emanuele. It was Matera’s last tannery and closed in 1962.

 

For almost 50 years, the building remained abandoned but since 2011, the building has been slowly restored to what it is today.

Many generations of local families have lived in the building and it has also been used as a place of work by many artisan workers for hundreds of years – all have left indelible marks in the building’s structure which is still easily recognizable even today.

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Via Casalnuovo

L’antica Conceria is on Via Casalnuovo, which as its name testifies, is the heart of the district of the same name. Built in the Renaissance period, it has the same architectural style with the Sasso Caveoso.

Via Casalnuovo is one of the few roads leading directly to the Sassi. Close by, there is a covered car park (for a fee).

In the past, Via Casalnuovo was a street filled with artisan businesses and connected the last farmhouse in Matera with the historic centre of the city.

Even today, Via Casalnuovo is one of Matera’s main streets as you can reach all of the Sassi districts from here.

L’Antica Conceria, located right on this street, enjoys a privileged position: completely overlooking the vast Gravina, (or ravine) it allows the light to enter through all the doors and windows.

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THE ANCIENT TANNERY

The current owners of the property have spent the last four years renovating the property and wanted to honour the building’s past so called it L’Antica Conceria – the ancient tannery. They wanted to pay tribute to the building’s history as a tannery but also to retain a connection to Matera’s past.