Fornaci di Ponte Crotte

Ponte Crotte’s kilns: from a state of abandon to deterioration

Brescia. Every photographer tries to capture his own vision of the three lime kilns beyond Ponte Crotte: some use high-contrasts in order to give a feeling of astonishment; some use the dark colour of the night while others prefer to highlight the lines of the architecture, particularly harmonic during sunny days.

Fornaci Ponte Crotte Brescia Giacoletti
Beyond ex fornaci da calce Giacoletti, Brescia (IT) – Federica Taddeo
Attribuzione – Non opere derivate

The complex was risen on the gravel bed of the Mella river (near Ponte Crotte) because calcareous pebbles – raw materials for production – can be extracted from the stream.

The Ministry of Cultural Heritage takes care of the complex made up of three circular brick towers and the canopies designated to be a warehouse for materials. Today there are not many remains of the wooden cots, suspended in space because set on robust iron beams.

Few people know that the three vertical kilns were not built at the same time. We can infer it by reading the papers about the industrial exhibit of 1904. A journal titled “Il Cidneo” wrote:

“In 1875 the first and only one modern kiln was created in the territory of Brescia, the one with the awarded Guzzi and Ravizza systems… Since the extraordinary amount of requests, it was necessary to build another kiln…and also a third one. Furthermore, a lot of families earn thanks to the growing of job roles”

Fornaci di Ponte Crotte
Stato delle fornaci di Ponte Crotte ad Aprile 2016.
Ph credit: Federica Taddeo

Moreover, consulting the planimetry of cadastre – there is a rough-sketch kiln to the east of the second one. Its foundations are already covered by some inhabited compartments.

The first owners of the kilns were the Giacolettis; later, the Crescinis and lastly the Rovettas. Until 1950, the location turned out to be functioning for the production of lime, especially due to popular demand. Then the activity was interrupted because of the impossibility of new investments. Until 1974, the business produced calcium hydroxide, even if the activity was interrupted in the same year. At first, the area was used as warehouse for building materials but then it was emptied. There are 6000 mq still are waiting to be recycled.

Here there is a review of the census of these kilns – updated in 1998. After 18 years has passed, the situation seems still the same. They are subordinated to monumental obligations and they have not been reemployed yet.



SUBJECT: Giacoletti lime kilns

Locality: Ponte Crotte – Brescia 25100

Province: BS

Address: Ponte Crotte road


Use: fallen into disuse

Previous purpose: lime kilns

Objects that compose the area

Factory: Three lime kilns

Infrastructures: canopies used as warehouse of materials

Residential building: house where the current owner lives

Historical background

Date of construction: since 1875 to 1905

Architect: unknown

Client: Cesare Giacoletti


Translated by Andrea Consalvi