20 Jun TOURISME ET MINES
“Asturias green of mountains and black of minerals”. It is one of the phrases that Victor Manuel sings in his well-known “Asturias”, undoubtedly one of the anthems of our land.
And it is that in Asturias coal and mining have had a great presence and importance, being one of the engines of the region’s economy, along with steel and metallurgy, for decades. Today, industrial reconversion has made all this history and tradition be reflected in various tourist resources that allow us to get to know the world of mining, the work of miners and what this meant for Asturias and for a Very important part of its population.
Most of these resources are concentrated in the Nalón and Caudal mining basins. Let’s talk about some of them:
Museum of Mining and Industry of Asturias (MUMI).
It is located in El Entrego (San Martín del Rey Aurelio) and is surely the best known, since it opened its doors in the 90s. It collects part of the history of mining in Asturias, the old technologies used, examples of materials, explosives or lamps, reproduction of the infirmary … But without a doubt the most remarkable thing is the image mine, whose galleries can be accessed through the cage, the elevator used by the miners to start their workday. We will not tell you much more because we have already spoken to you here about this spectacular museum.
Without moving from the council, although this time in the town of Sotrondio, there is the Pozo Sotón, one of the most emblematic of Asturias and declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 2014. As a tourist resource it is divided into 3: the visit to the inside the well, the Mining Experiences and Memory Center (CEMM) and the impressive mining memorial, created in homage to the thousands of victims of mining accidents in Asturias.
The CEMM is installed in the Lampistería and Casa de Aseos building and is an interactive center where you will discover more about this sector, the work of the miners, the dreaded Grisú that caused so many accidents or the history of HUNOSA, the company owner of the Well Sotón. Various activities and workshops are held at the CEMM, including theatrical guided tours or an escape room. You can check the dossier of visits here.
But without a doubt, the highlight is the visit inside the well. Attention because here the thing gets serious. You will enter a real mine, so before starting the visit there will be a safety training talk and you will be given appropriate clothing, a light lamp and a self-rescue equipment. There are two routes, one short of about 2 hours, entering and leaving on the 10th floor and one long, about 4 hours, on the 8th, 9th and 10th floors. On the website www.visitapozosoton.es you will be able to see detailed information of the route and you will see that the conditions of the visit and the level of requirement required are greatly affected, so it is important that you inform yourself well since they can decide not to allow you to do Visit for security reasons.
Also the visit abroad requires certain conditions, since it is not adapted to people with reduced mobility. This external visit is free and it is not possible to do it the same day as the internal one (for a fee).
The general website, http://pozosoton.es/, will give you access to the 3 parts of which we have spoken to you and will detail much more all the information.
Samuño Valley Mining Ecomuseum.
We go to the neighboring council of Langreo, where the Samuño Valley Mining Ecomuseum is located. There are several protagonists here: the mining train, El Cadavíu Station -place of departure-, the San Luis Well -place of arrival-, which was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 2013, and the Samuño Valley itself, which is part of the Protected Landscape of the Mining Basins, with the town of La Nueva.
You will start the visit at El Cadavíu Station, visitor reception center. From there a mining train will take you, in a 2 km journey that crosses the valley and enters for a few meters in the Socavón Emilia, to the Pozo San Luis, where you can visit the museum after a 32-meter ascent by the well cane.
The return trip can be done again on the train or on foot, through a paved path, perfectly indicated and without complications that will take you back to the El Cadavíu Station. This is the option that we recommend, so you can enjoy the landscape and have another perspective of the visit.
As always, we leave your website so you can complete the information and book your visit http://www.ecomuseominero.es/
All these resources are in the Nalón basin, but in the neighboring Caudal basin, in the Mieres council, you can also visit the Interpretation Center of the Bustiello Mining Village, the Pozo Espinos Didactic Classroom and the Pozo Fortuna or the Mining Landscape of the Valley of Turón, with wells as emblematic as Santa Bárbara, Espinos or Figaredo.
And if you want more, you can go to Castrillón, to visit the Arnao Mine Museum, the only underwater mine in Europe (closed in 1915). As in the previous examples, the wooden castor of the Arnao mine was named Cultural Interest Asset. In this case you can visit the Interpretation Center (free or guided tour), take a guided tour of the mine, the oldest vertical well in Asturias, and get to know the Worker Village of Arnao. Undoubtedly this change of landscape from the interior to the coast will surprise you.