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Cartagena


Mountains of Cartagena and La Unión, an open-air mining museum




Sijainti

Itsehallintoalue:
Murcia

Maakunta/saari:
Murcia

Murcia


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 metres open to the public. It is 80 metres 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. The effects of mining on the cities La Unión and Cartagena provide good examples of how the mining boom transformed the cities. The historic quarter of La Unión, for instance, is full of buildings connected to its mining past, such as the Casa del Piñón house, historically the property of a mine owner and today the site of the Town Hall, and the old Public Market. It also has an important Mining Museum containing an exhibition on all the varied mineralogy of the region. Many of the Modernist buildings in Cartagena are linked to the economic progress enjoyed by the prosperous middle classes thanks to mining. Examples include the Casa Zapata house, Aguirre Palace, and the houses of Casa Dorda and Casa Cervantes.




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