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Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape

Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape

Located on land projecting into the Uruguay River west of the town of Fray Bentos, the industrial complex was built following the development of a factory founded in 1859 to process meat produced on the vast prairies nearby. The site illustrates the whole process of meat sourcing, processing, packing and dispatching. It includes buildings and equipment of the Liebig Extract of Meat Company, which exported meat extract and corned-beef to the European market from 1865 and the Anglo Meat Packing Plant, which exported frozen meat from 1924. Through its physical location, industrial and residential buildings as well as social institutions, the site presents an illustration of the entire process of meat production on a global scale.

Paysage industriel de Fray Bentos

Construit sur une avancée de terre sur le fleuve Uruguay, à l’ouest de la ville de Fray Bentos, le complexe industriel est né du développement d’une usine de salaison de viandes fondée en 1859 dans le but de tirer partie de l’élevage de bétail qu’abritaient les immenses prairies voisines. Illustrant toute la chaîne de la viande – approvisionnement, transformation, emballage et expédition - le site comprend des bâtiments et des équipements de la Liebig Extract of Meat Company, qui exporta du concentré de viande et du corned-beef sur le marché européen à partir de 1865 et de l’Anglo Meat Packing Plant, qui exporta de la viande surgelée à partir de 1924. La combinaison du lieu, de l’ensemble industriel, des logements et des institutions sociales présents sur le site permet de comprendre tout le processus d’une production de viande d’envergure mondiale.

Fray Bentos cultureel-industrieel landschap

Gelegen op een stuk land dat zich uitstrekt in de Uruguay-rivier, ten westen van de stad Fray Bentos, ligt een industrieel complex. Dit is gebouwd naar aanleiding van de uitbreiding van een fabriek uit 1859, waar men vlees verwerkte dat op de nabijgelegen prairies werd geproduceerd. De site toont het gehele proces van vleesverwerking: oogsten, verwerken, verpakken en verspreiden. Er staan gebouwen en materiaal van de Liebig Extract of Meat Company, die vleesextract en cornedbeef naar Europa exporteerde vanaf 1865 en de Anglo Meat Packing Plant, die vanaf 1924 bevroren vlees exporteerde. Door zijn locatie, industriële gebouwen, woongebouwen en sociale instituties, geeft de site een beeld van het hele productieproces van vlees op wereldschaal.

Source: unesco.nl

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Workers and corporate staff house © Municipality of Rio Negro
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Located on land projecting into the Uruguay River west of Fray Bentos town, the industrial complex is marked by the enormous cold storage building and tall brick, boiler chimney which punctuate a range of saw-toothed roofs. Illustrating the whole process of meat sourcing, processing, packing and dispatch, the site includes buildings and equipment of the Liebig Extract of Meat Company which exported meat extract and corned beef to the European market from 1865 and the Anglo Meat Packing Plant which exported frozen meat from 1924. Here German research and technology combined with English enterprise to provide food for a global market including to the armies of two World Wars in the 20th century. Workers’ housing and social institutions which accommodated and supported the cosmopolitan workers’ community continue in use today.

Criterion (ii): Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape is evidence of the interchange of human values between European society and the South American population of the 19th and 20th century which effected social, cultural and economic changes in both places during that period. This was due the interchange on developments in technology which enabled the production and export of canned and frozen meat on a global scale and to the immigrant workers who arrived from more than 55 nations.

Criterion (iv): The ensemble of cattle pasture and handling facilities, industrial buildings, mechanical facilities, port facilities, residential fabric and green areas linking the river and agricultural areas to the city of Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape stands out as an example of early 20th century industrial development.


The property includes all elements related to the history of the site and the period of its operation and is of adequate size to ensure the complete representation of the features and processes which convey the property’s significance. The landscape setting is appropriate in size and views form the river and town are maintained. Some buildings are in need of repair and conservation but the site does not suffer from neglect overall.


The property is authentic in terms of location and setting, materials and substance and use/function in terms of the buildings which form part of the Museum of Industrial Revolution. The archive contains historical documents with technical information providing a source for repairs and restoration. Other buildings have been adapted for new uses and workers’ housing has been upgraded to provide more modern accommodation for families now living there, many of whom have a connection with the property through family members who worked there. Authenticity is vulnerable to proposed new development within the property including new uses for buildings and sites as well as new construction.

Protection and management requirements

The property is protected as a National Historic Landmark under the Heritage Act No. 14.040, August 1971 as amended in 2008 and the Regulatory Decree 536/72. Objects owned by government agencies and non-state corporations are protected under Act No. 17.473, 9 May 2002. The Acts are administered by the National Cultural Heritage Commission.

The property has been managed at site level by the Anglo Management Committee since 2008 with input from representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Educational Affairs; Ministry of Housing, Land Use Planning and Environment and the Municipality of Rio Negro. This body is responsible for the implementation of the Property Management Plan 2012-2015, which was approved by the National Cultural Heritage commission in January 2014.