Located in the Municipality of Scafati, today the Royal Bourbon Powder Factory is a culturally significant site with a great potential for use.
The almost rectangularly-shaped area contains many buildings from different eras and is surrounded by a green park, which is crossed by two walks with luxuriant plane-trees and smaller verdant walks. Commissioned by Naples second last king, Ferdinand II of Bourbon, in 1851 it replaced the Royal Explosives Factory of Torre Annunziata in the production of gunpowder because of its favourable position, close to the Conte di Sarno canal and one of its distributaries, the Bottaro canal, yet far away enough from the centre of Scafati to prevent possible risks for the
inhabitants in case of explosions. From 1894 it served as a tobacco factory and the facility was in use until an earthquake in 1980 forced it to be abandoned. The complex contains several historically and monumentally important buildings, dating between 1852 and 1880, enclosed by an old boundary wall. Among them is the main building on the western side originally used for administrative and residential purposes but which now houses the museum of the Municipality of Scafati, the adjacent St. Barbara’s Chapel, the historical entrance of the explosives area with its original cast iron gate still intact, and the pavilions of the chemical laboratories and workshops of
the Powder Factory.
A specific upgrading plan aims at meeting the needs of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, identifying new and more suitable spaces for state-of-the-art warehouses, archives, laboratories, auditoriums, exhibitions and offices, as well as raising the profile of the Royal Bourbon Powder Factory along with all its historical buildings and surrounding Park.