Mining park Riotinto

Parque Minero de Riotinto Plaza Ernest Lluch s/n, CP 21660, Minas de Riotinto, Spain

Former Use: Mining
New Use: Mining museum/Visitors centre
Category: Industrial Museum
Construction year(s): 1873 -
Reuse year(s): 1992 - 2004


5,000 years of mining history, Europe's largest open cast mine, and a piece of Great Britain right in the middle of Andalusia – the Parque de Minero de Riotinto is not at all short of attractions. The enormous scale of the open pit Corta Atalaya - 350 m deep, and 1,200 m X 900 m in extent - mainly results from the activities of the British Holding “The Riotinto Company Limited” that took the lead in 1873. Guided tours of this man-made caldera are one of the visit's highlights. That locals worked the mines for copper, iron and other metals since antiquity is proved by a waterwheel from Roman Times. The spectacular find forms part of the mining museum which is located in the former hospital of the nearby mining community. Also on display is a luxurious railway carriage used by King Alfonso XIII for a visit to Riotinto. Parts of the old narrow-gauge line are restored, enabling the operation of a historic visitor train. The way of life of the foreign mine operators is best shown by the Victorian-style house No. 21 in a late 19th century residential area called Bellavista that has been specifically built for the British staff. Incidentally, it was here that the British introduced football to the Spaniards, thus laying the foundation for its spreading all over the country. (2)

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Added on 2018-05-23 by editor Dora Chatzi Rodopoulou