As early as the Middle Ages watermills were rattling busily at the Mølleåen (mill stream) in the Danish town of Kongens Lyngby. They produced cereals, copper, gunpowder, and also cloth. The Brede Klædefabrik was set up in 1832 and was the leading textile factory in Denmark until it ceased operations in 1956. The unique industrial monument provides visitors with a lively impression of a historic factory site, covering almost every aspect of its workers’ lives. Dwellings, a dining room, a kindergarten, a school and shops offered families security and a certain level of comfort, as well as tying them to the firm. Today Brede Værk provides an outstanding example of a complete factory settlement, including the factory buildings, workers dwellings and a director’s mansion.
In 2018, the Textile Museum, previously run by the National Museum, closed. However, visitors can still see the factory village, at least from the outside, on a signposted, 12-stop digital audio walk. At each station, signs with images and text encourage visitors to engage with the history of the site. An accompanying audio guide brings the history and stories to life and includes original audio recordings of former workers at the plant.