What is Calafou?

Calafou is a cooperative that was born in 2011 with the aim of generating productive, technological and housing alternatives that are sustainable and respectful of the environment. To this end, the collective purchase of a former industrial colony that gives its name to the project has been set in motion. This one, in disuse for years and notably deteriorated, has 28,000 m2 among which there are industrial buildings, green spaces and a block of 27 houses.

Video documentary: Testimonio habitantas de la colónia (1922-1975)

Calafou is a self-organised project that includes spaces for industrial, craft and creative activity, common infrastructures for meetings and various activities, and even decent housing. All of them accessible at fair prices notably below the market prices and designed to allow the self-management of the project/place. The formula we use for the access to the houses is the purchase of the right of use from the cooperative and, for the productive spaces, the renting at social prices with services and resources shared among all the people involved in the project.
From the beginning, we want to develop a network based on a network of cooperatives, individual projects and housing within a collectivized space. It seeks to facilitate the sharing of ideas, goods and resources to promote synergies in a natural way. A place for social, technological and political innovation based on self-responsibility and cooperation. A project where productive economies are at the service of people, allowing their needs, in terms of access to resources and tools, not to be an obstacle to the realization of their creative potential.

Principles we share

Far from these becoming empty labels, we use them sometimes as a starting point, sometimes as a destination, but above all as a path on which we walk, reflect and question ourselves. They are the common language from which to act or even from which to stop and start again. They are the Conflict that moves us and the Desire that allows us to continue projecting Calafou.

  • Transfeminism
  • Self-management
  • Free Culture
  • Degrowth
  • Permaculture

How we are organized

The assembly is the main decision-making body in Calafou. It is held weekly, and it is the space where information and proposals are shared for day-to-day management and more in-depth debates that require several sessions. Decisions are taken by consensus.
There are management areas made up of smaller groups in charge of carrying out specific permanent objectives and with a certain amount of decision-making autonomy:
– Economics and Law: manages the financial movements that make the project, is responsible for generating the documentation of transactions and ensures transparency of economic management of the colony. It evaluates the financial needs, computes the income, expenses and presents reports.
– Communication: manages the communication infrastructure of the colony and maintains the link with those interested in the project. It elaborates the material and the diffusion strategies that allow to present the project, it maintains the web site, it creates graphic material, it documents the processes and it answers to the demands of the mass media giving to know the project in chats, meetings and public spaces.
– Projects: it is in charge of elaborating the guidelines of viability of a project in the colony. He manages the proposals for the use of the spaces and maintains communication with those who make the proposals.

There are also working groups to achieve specific objectives, previously defined in the general assembly, which can remain over a longer period of time or be dissolved once the task has been completed.

A little bit of history

Calafou is part of the historical heritage developed on the banks of the Anoia River. Originally, there was a flour mill in this place, a common productive activity along the river, which has been recorded since the Middle Ages. Then it was a fulling mill or Molin Draper molí draper/ rag mill known as Castellet mill, and it is documented from 1513 to 1740 until a flood destroyed it. In 1794 it was rebuilt as a paper mill that operated until 1890. The main building of that time and the stone where the old paper press was located are still preserved today.
From the end of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century it was a textile colony, known as Colônia Marçal. The industrial colonies of Catalonia were established from the middle of the 19th century, and one of their objectives was to divide the workers’ movement and bring them to live in the places where they worked. They were the sum of “the factory and the homes of all those who worked there, from the director to the last apprentice.” In them you could find everything from a church to a commissary.

Where we are

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Calafou is an old textile colony situated in the region of l’Anoia, very near to Vallbona d’Anoia, which belongs to the municipality of Cabrera d’Anoia.

If you want to visit, we recommend you to read the visitors page first.

If you want to send us any material by post, you can use this address:

Calafou, Camí de Calafou, s/n

Postcode 08785 – Vallbona d’Anoia (Barcelona)

If you come from the airport you should get the bus L77 to Sant. Joan D. It has stops at the terminals 1 and 2, the price is almost 2 euros. Get off the bus at the stop for Sant. Boi train station, then cross the street and take the train R6 or R60 in the direction of Igualada. Get off at the station Vallbona d’Anoia. For a one way trip you should buy the train ticket for 5 zones, which is E6,50.

If you come by train from Barcelona, you can take the trains of line R6 or R60 of FG, Plaça Espanya – Igualada. Get off at the station in Vallbona d’Anoia (you can download the schedule here).

Once you arrive at the station, you have to walk around 15 minutes (1.5 km) downhill. An easy way to arrive is to walk downhill from the station and turn left at the first street. Walk until the end of that street and take the last street on your right, then the first street to your left again and the last street on your right, then again the first street to your left until you arrive at the gate of the Polígono Industrial La Plana (you won’t see the sign until you turn around) and on your left you will see the dirt road to Calafou. The local people know where Calafou is and will help you.

There’s a shortcut between the trees. Try to find it =) it’s easy!


Everybody is welcome to Calafou, but we ask you very very much to warn us before you come, so that we can organise the food, tell you about the places to sleep that we have at the moment (if this is the case), and take advantage of your trip here to carry something.

You can contact us by postmail, telephone or smoke signals =). Look for the best way for you to contact us, and review the announcements and activities that we organise. In case you want to know about our activites, you can subscribe to the mailing list.

We have several domestic and farm animals, so we ask you to please leave your dog at home. If not, the dog will have to be tied during all your stay here. MORE INFO