The “Las Minas” region occupies the eastern half of the Huelva Andévalo. It is located halfway between the Sierra de Aracena and El Condado, making it an original homogeneous environment unity possessing features of both areas.
Nerva, Minas de Riotinto, El Campillo, Zalamea la Real, Berrocal, La Granada de Riotinto and Campofrío, are the localities in that area
Arising out of the midst of the surrounding greenery, the giant opencast mines of Rio Tinto create a surreal, almost lunar landscape. The removal of layer upon layer of soil and rock, in the search for iron ore, copper, silver and a host of other mineral ores, has tinted this part of the world in hues of dusty pink, brown, yellow, red and grey. So great is the scale of operations, that the depression created resembles a man-made crater that measures several kilometres across. From the edge of the ‘crater’, a giant space opens up before you, and the trucks at work far below appear toy-sized when in reality most are the size of a house.
Walls of terraced rock, streaked with the unusual colours of mineral ores create the impression of a natural amphitheatre of gargantuan proportions, which could easily be mistaken for the set of a Star Wars movie.
The main attraction of area is its exclusive and spectacular landscape. Tabular surfaces, purple, orange, red, ochre colours existing on a large scale offers a scene full of beautiful contrasts.
The mines of the Riotinto have been exploited for approximately 5 000 years. The earliest archaeological remains date back to the Iron aged.
Any visitor contemplating the Mines for the first time cannot help feeling surprised by an awesome spectacle, and all the work of man.
Located in the village of Minas de Riotinto, this is the largest opencast mine in Europe and undoubtedly the closest to perfection. The size of its ellipse astonishes all those who visit it: 1200m long, 900m wide and 350m deep.
It was the most ambitious project of the English company and was still being worked 20 years ago. Is found in the locality of Minas de Riotinto, the largest opencast mine exploitation in Europe and certainly the most perfect. The dimensions of its ellipse amazed all those visitors: 1200m long, 900 wide and 350 deep. He was one of the most ambitious projects of the English company that operated Las Minas and was in operation until 20 years ago.
Places of interest
PEÑA DEL HIERRO
An ancient mine where it is still possible to see the houses of the employees. From here the view of the Cuenca Minera is absolutely breathtaking. It is located in the surroundings of the village of Nerva.
RIOTINTO MINING MUSEUM
It is the first museum of its kind in Spain. The museum is located on the Plaza Ernest Lluch. The history of the Riotinto Mines is concentrated here, from its first inhabitants to practically the 20th century. You can contemplate among other things the two Roman statues found in the mines, work tools of all periods, and many objects related to the world of railways.
Particularly worthy of attention is the vagón del marahah (wagon of the Maharadjah), built for Queen Elizabeth II’s trip to India in 1892 and that was eventually moved to Riotinto for the visit of King Alfonso XIII. It is considered the most luxurious railway coach in the world.
You will also find locomotives, such as the type N of 1930 or type K of 1907. Recently inaugurated is a reproduction in full size, of a Roman mine, you have access to it and can thus feel the working conditions in those times.
The 11km tourist railway runs from the old mines of Talleres to los Frailes.The wagons built at the beginning of the century have been restored and the journey is parallel to the Rio tinto – one of the most important and attractive areas of this region.
RIO TINTO MINING PARK
Both the importance of its history and the landscape make the Cuenca Minera the ideal place for a “Mining Park”.
It is a thematic park that organizes guided tours through “Las Minas”. La Fundación Riotinto, On the Mining Museum, organizes visits to all these places mentioned in the travel and tourist railway miner
ENGLISH DISTRICT OF BELLAVISTA
It is situated in Minas de Riotinto. The English district was built at the end of the 19th century by the “Riotinto Company Limited” to house the managing staff of the company.
The Victorian atmosphere stemming from the architecture has been preserved intact. Of particular interest we must point up the Anglican Chapel and the Club, built for leisure and as a meeting place after working hours.
Romería de la Santa Cruz del Pino, May 16 to18th
Gazpacho de Asociaciones, At the end of June. “Tapas”tasting and festivals
Fiestas de San Antonio, June 16 to 15th , La Dehesa
Fiestas de San Juan Bautista, June 22 to 24th
Fiestas patronales de San Roque, August 15 to 17th
Romería de nuestra señora del Rosario, October
Santa Bárbara, December