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Regional route Asturias | Spain

Silhouettes of mining scaffolds dominate the horizon, steam machines rolling over metal tracks, towns born out of industrial paternalism... All a testimony to the richness that flows from underground, from the rivers and seafloor, to how men and women tried to tame nature. This image is very different ... more


Silhouettes of mining scaffolds dominate the horizon, steam machines rolling over metal tracks, towns born out of industrial paternalism... All a testimony to the richness that flows from underground, from the rivers and seafloor, to how men and women tried to tame nature.

This image is very different from the rural Asturias of the 19th century, whose inhabitants lived off of agriculture and livestock farming and only had a few canning factories and arms factories built in the 18th century. The men and women of Asturias had known about coal for at least two centuries but they had never shown an interest in mining it. But industrialization required fuel and the Asturian deposits were too highly sought-after.

Coal mining opened the way for all the rest. With mining came the metallurgical and steel industry and power production, fuelled also by the abundance of water. The railway became the main figure of industrialization. The landscape of the Principality was transformed, driving it towards the future.

Asturias's industrial heritage, protected by the Spanish Cultural Heritage Law, includes three types of assets: isolated elements, industrial plants and whole landscapes revealing a range of different activities. These buildings and industrial structures dot the horizon of Asturias. Taking a trip along the motorways of the Principality you will see the outlines of the scaffolds that lowered the cages down into the pits, the unique architecture of the mining neighbourhood’s, factories, old gas tanks and lofty chimneys.

Without coal… there is nothing
Asturias is socially and economically, and even symbolically, identified with coal: this was the key element of the industrial revolution, but the stimulus for its large-scale production was the installation of two Royal Arms Factories in Oviedo and Trubia at the end of the 18th century, which prompted the search for iron and coal sites, the establishment of the mining activity, improved transport infrastructures... and ultimately led to the modernization of the Principality.

The watchful eyes of visitors will spot, here and there, the tracks of the main historic industrial activity in our region, an activity that seems to inexorably have its days counted, but which continues to define the Asturian region, its people and its culture. This fossil fuel soon became a dominant energy source obtained with extremely hard work and, particularly, in underground tasks that have also changed the surface: the work of thousands of people, soon stained black, and which is waiting to be discovered

Gijón | Spain
Which engineer's design is that locomotive? Who were the workers who built it? Which driver handled it, and what people and goods did it carry? Questions like that make the Asturias Railway Museum such an exciting experience. Thus, any of the 140 rolling stock – including sixteen steam locomotives, ...

Asturian Railway Museum
Museo del Ferrocarril de Asturias
Plaza Estación del Norte s/n
33212 Gijón, Spain

San Martín del Rey Aurelio | Spain
How does it feel to be a miner? In Pozo Sotón, visitors can find the answer in a literally up close manner, since the guided tour through the underground galleries is a sweaty experience and requires a good physical condition. The trip starts with putting on the right dress: change of underwear, ...

Pozo Soton Mine
Linares, AS-17
33950 San Martín del Rey Aurelio, Spain

Castrillón | Spain
In 1833, a Belgian company settled in Arnao with a radically innovative project in Asturias, drill a vertical pit for the extraction of coal below sea level. Its spectacular headframe today is one of the most striking elements of the museum. The underwater mine remained working until the Cantabrian ...

Arnao Mine and Museum
Museo de la Mina de Arnao
La mina, 7
33450 Castrillón, Spain

Asturias was one of the most important coal mining regions in Spain and the museum at El Entrego, 3 km south of Langreo, provides evidence of the role of the mining industry in the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum is located in a spectacular series of colliery structures. A steel headstock ...

Asturian Museum of Mining and Industry
Musea de la Minería y de la Industria de Asturias
El Trabanquin
33940 El Entrego, Spain

Mining and the making of iron and steel were the principal economic activities from in Asturias from the mid-19th century until the closing years of the 20th century. The Museum of the Steel Industry (MUSI) complements the mining museum at El Entrego (MUMI) and uses a variety of modern techniques ...

Asturian Museum of the Steel Industry
Museo de la Siderurgia de Asturias
Ciudad Tecnológica Valnalón C/ Hornos Altos s/n
33930 Langreo, Spain

Large-scale coal mining was the principal economic activity in the province of Asturias in northern Spain from the 1840s. Langreo, with a population of 43,000 is the fourth largest town in the province and lies close to the River Samuñ which extends 8 km from its source to its confluence with the ...

Samuño Valley Mining Ecomuseum
Ecomseo Minero del valle de Samuño
El Cadavíu Ciañu
33909 Langreo, Spain

San Esteban de Pravia | Spain
San Esteban de Pravia, an old fishing village, now a marina, is an enclave in which its industrial past is still present. On the shores of the Cantabrian Sea, at the mouth of the “Nalón” River which separates the village San Juan de la Arena from San Esteban de Pravia, is a spot that still bears ...

San Esteban de Pravia Coal Port
Paseo del muelle
33130 San Esteban de Pravia, Spain

San Salvador | Spain
The museum remembers the social and regional transformation that meant the settlement of a French company in this agricultural and livestock mountain area. From their industrial activity, it is interesting to visit the preserved old steel-making ovens as well as the galleries connected to the ...

Ethnographic Museum of Quiros
Museo Ethnográfico de Quirós
Carretera General AS 229 - P.K. 8,4
33117 San Salvador, Spain

Santa Cruz de Mieres | Spain
Bustiello is one of the many mining villages in the province of Asturias, and is situated near Mieres, south of Oviedo, not far from Spain’s northern coast. It is a good example of industrial paternalism. The village was built between 1890 and 1925 by the mining company Sociedad Huellera Española on ...

Bustiello Mining Village Information Centre
Centro de Interpretación del Poblado Minero de Bustiello
33612 Santa Cruz de Mieres, Spain


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