Asturias has a long mining tradition dating back to the XVIII century. The coal extraction concentrated around the so-called “Cuenca minera.” The mining industry declined in the area. The last active mining wells close down in 2018. The old mining installations at Samuño Valley converted into the Mining Ecomuseum Samuño Valley. This Ecomuseo Minero Valle de Samuño opened its doors to the public in 2013. More than 60.000 people have visited the rehabilitated installations since then. Nowadays, this cultural interest boosts the economy of the valley.
This Ecomuseum located within the premises of the railway station El Cadaviu close to the town of Langreo. You will find there parking facilities, the visitors center and the point of departure and arrival of the mining train. This train is a unique opportunity to experience an authentic mining train. It runs through a 2 kilometers route. It delivered coal from the mines to the valleys.
The final route of the train enters a 120 years old mine. You can certainly feel the environment in which the miners worked in the past. It is the longest railway route in Spain through a real mining gallery.
Pozo San Luis
The end destination is the San Luis well. A local guide will be your host during a guided tour. You will be able to see some mining machinery. Experience the elevator through the mining shaft for 32 meters up to the surface.
The tower of the San Luis well is the original iron structure from 1930 with a height of 28 meters. It works as the extraction point.
When exiting the well, you are in front of the building intended for the engine room. The mining company “Carbones La Nueva” made an individual effort at the time with this modernist building, where you will be able to see the air compressors to provide the energy for the mine and the extraction machine.
There are other points of interest to visit within the facility such as the lamp workshop where miners recharged their lamps, the bathhouse, the workshops or the infirmary. There is as well a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs or even products of the local gastronomy.
Your guide will undoubtedly instruct you on the meeting point and departure time to take the elevator back to the inside of the mine. Afterward, you take the train back to the starting point. Nevertheless, an alternative is visiting the local town and enjoy a refreshment at the local bars, and then head down to El Cadaviu by foot. There is an easy paved trail for 2 kilometers through the valley offering you the chance to enjoy the vegetation of the Asturian landscape and see the Samuño well (Pozo Samuño).
The whole activity is the perfect opportunity to do something different, experience a mining train and a real mine, learn about the history of the mining industry in Asturias, and observe how they have developed these industrial facilities into an enjoyable cultural activity. For more information and bookings, please visit their web page at Ecomuseo Minero Valle Samuño. Enjoy!
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This post is also available in: Spanish