The Colognese Mill dates from the beginning of the last century. It was built by an immigrant family coming from the Veneto region in Northern Italy, employing pine wood (Araucária angustifolia) from the surrounding forest. When the miller died at the end of the 1990’s, the mill was abandoned. It fell into decay until the Association of the Friends of the Mills of Alto Taquari was founded in 2004, the old mill and the land was bought and the project for the Ilópolis Mill came into being, aided by sponsorship of Nestlé Brasil. It was first extensively restored (organization by IILA - Istituto Ítalo Latino Americano) and put to work again.
The two new volumes, housing the small Bread Museum and the Confectioners´ School, establish a renewed context for the mill and attest its status as an architectural, technical and cultural document of the past. The old mill served as a serene reference for the new project: its architecture, its materials, its equipments, production, transformation.
With this union of tradition and invention, museography and architecture emerge simultaneously. The first exhibits of this new museum: the old Colognese Mill, which functions again, the museum and the school, “contaminated” by the physical and symbolic presence of the centenary construction. Everything contributes to the exhibition: the structure of the buildings, the way the light enters, the materials used, the timber walkways, the supports for the exhibits, the pieces on exhibition (old kitchen utensils, historic documents and photographs from the region).
After this spontaneous initiative, the project gained new impulse with the aim to valorise the cultural and historic richness of the region and extending its circuit: the neighbouring small towns of Arvorezinha, Anta Gorda, and Putinga shall be “infected” and in conjunction form the “Route of the Mills”.