Almadén Mining Park

The EHL Site

The Almadén Mining Park (AMP) is a multidisciplinary heritage site recognized by UNESCO World Heritage, the European Heritage Label, the European Society of Chemistry, the International Union of Geologists and as an Anchor Point of the European Industrial Heritage Route.

The heritage of Minas de Almadén transcends industrial aspects, encompassing sociopolitical development, innovative technology, medical research, and environmental values. From all this and in the context of heritage management and economics, the challenge lies in transforming these elements into a sustainable framework that benefits the socioeconomic environment of the Almadén region in Ciudad Real.

The industrial heritage complex of Minas de Almadén was born from a transition process productive associated with the closure of industrial and mining exploitation, combined with the search of economic alternatives based on tourist-cultural models inspired by examples of European industrial tourism. In Spain, this type relationship between heritage and tourism, although it does not represent a radical novelty, it has had a partial and smaller development than in other surrounding countries. In the case of the Minas de Almadén, in a rural and environmental context of high quality, but little vocation tourist and overwhelming due to demographic and productive problems, the project focuses on addressing a competitive program that promotes the entire Minas de Almadén, within the framework of development and the understanding of a cultural model based on industrial themes but capable of integrating a diverse and very attractive offer.

Visitors to the Almadén Mines can explore historic 16th to 19th-century underground mine galleries, the Mining Interpretation Center, and the Museum of Mercury, which features a mineralogical collection and interactive exhibits on mercury. The site also includes outdoor park facilities like old workshops, mining castles, and metallurgical furnaces. The Hospital de Mineros San Rafael, functional since 1773, and the Historical Archive of the Almadén Mines offer a unique glimpse into more than 250 years of mining history in Spain.

European dimension

European values

The AMP is a cultural entity with a significant role in European history and culture as generator-recipient of the symbolic values and commitments of Europe. The AMP represents the common, multi-faceted, dialectical process that has shaped the European Union.

Innovation and mining-metallurgical heritage. Scientific and technological values

The AMP is a world reference in industrial and mining heritage as a centre of continuous exploitation for more than 2,000 years. From Roman times, the exploitation system was the basis of an infrastructure and commercial system traceable today in Europe. In the last 500 years, applied technological innovation has become a unique model in the evolution of mining.

In the 18th century the foundation of the Almadén Mining Academy, the seventh to be created in the world, enabled German mining technicians to contribute to the exchange and scientific consolidation of underground geometry and mineralogy in Europe.

Economic-financial exchange and political development Socio-economic, political and cultural values

The foundation of the Royal Miners’ Hospital in the 18th century led to a model of occupational healthcare that incorporated values close to universal healthcare and established a direct flow between research and medical treatment.

The conversion of mining in the 21st century towards a system of sustainable management shows its socio-economic commitment to the values of the EU.

The organization

The Almadén Mines are property of the Spanish State through the Ministry of Finance, and are currently managed by the public company Minas de Almadén y Arrayanes, S.A., S.M.E. (MAYASA), integrated into the State Society of Industrial Participations (SEPI), MAYASA responds to the same management and control procedures of the public administration. As a State Mercantile Company, it does not have access to financing lines through a finalist grant for the conservation of heritage and management functionality. The economic management model of heritage focuses on the returns generated from cultural and tourist activity, which are fully reinvested in the needs of conservation, maintenance, improvement of equipment, and human teams. This represents a unique model in Spain of a public company, with private management criteria, which carries out its activity in the context of heritage management and economics.