OPEN-AIR MOUNTAINS OF CARTAGENA AND LA UNIÓN
We invite you to discover the rich mining heritage of the mountain area known as the Sierra Minera de Cartagena and La Unión, in the Region of Murcia in southeast Spain. This is a original way to learn more about an industry which had a major impact in the 19th century, and which today allows visitors to explore important mining operations, machine houses, excavations, furnaces, smokestacks…
The mining area in the Cartagena and La Unión mountains has over 12 important mine sites containing interesting examples of the region’s industrial heritage. Here we recommend just a few, and suggest various tours which take a closer look at the mining industry in the region of Murcia.
Mining Park of La Unión: This is the most wide-ranging option, and offers the chance to learn all about the operations of the old underground mining industry, including the extraction of the mineral, washing and the subsequent smelting process. It also has a mining train so visitors can explore its distinctive landscape in comfort. One of the main attractions is the visit to the underground mine of Agrupa Vicenta, which has over 4,000 square meters open to the public. It is 80 meters deep and has spectacular interior spaces and a lake of reddish waters. Other visits in the Park include a compressor room, the miners’ quarters, a roasting furnace, washeries, smokestacks and a mud pond. The Mining Park surrounds an old route used for transporting minerals known as the Camino del 33, which joins La Unión with the port of Portmán. Its numerous mining-related features have made it a genuine open-air mining museum.
Las Matildes mine: This is a refurbished mine which offers visitors a chance to explore the mining area of Beal, close to the city of Cartagena. The mine has been transformed into a visitors’ education centre designed to contribute to a greater understanding of the remnants left by the mining industry throughout the region over a period of 2000 years. It has a series of 3D projections and a variety of guided itineraries through this area which bears such a deep imprint of its past, as it was previously the area through which the mining basin was drained.
Informations on Open Air Mining in La Union are extracted from Wikipedia, experiences of visitors in http://www.spainthisway.com/and saposyprincesas.com and http://www.spain.info and Google images.