THE ERNEST LLUCH MINING MUSEUM, RIOTINTO
5000 YEARS OF MINING HISTORY
The museum headquarters is the building which housed the old hospital of the Riotinto Company Limited, the company which exploited the mines from 1873 to 1954. It is situated on the south hill of “El Valle” (Minas de Riotinto, Huelva).
The original building was designed by the British architect R.H. Morgan in 1925 and inaugurated two years later. It cost 23.720 pounds.
This hospital was built to provide medical care for Riotinto Company employees, both British and Spanish. Medical care as also given to all those people who resided in the area who did not have de means to pay for health care, even though they were not company workers.
In 1965 the building was enlarge with new rooms, and sometime later the health centre, situated next to the museum, was built. In the late eighties The Riotinto Foundation started work on a project to restore the old hospital, respecting de original English architecture, with the aim of housing the archaeological and historical remains of 5.000 years of mining history in the area.
In 1992 the building was reopened as the museum headquarters. The Mining Museum, an interpretation centre for the Riotinto Mining Park, is administered by the Riotinto Foundation for Mining and Metallurgy. It is a non profit cultural institution. Its aim is the conservation and restoration of the historical mining heritage of the Riotinto mines, as well as promoting employment and tourism in the mining area.
This work has won several awards such as the Henry Ford award for heritage conservation, 1998, and the Cultural Heritage of the European Union Award, EUROPA NOSTRA (2003).
The museum has an area of 1,800 m2 and fourteen exhibition areas. Among the exhibits is a reproduction of a Roman mine and the house number 21 belonging to the former British district of Bella Vista.
The permanent display shows the project work and aims of the Foundation, the environmental and geological features of the area and also its history, always in relation to mining exploitation.
The visitor can see many pieces related to mining and metallurgy, as well as exhibits of industrial archaeology such as the Maharaja’s carriage, the smartest narrow gauge carriage in the world. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria and brought to Riotinto for a visit by Alfonso XIII.
The Mining Museum of Riotinto is a journey through 5,000 years of mining history.
Museo Minero de Riotinto-Visitors Center
Geographical coordinate UTM WGS84
- X: 233037.87982246903
- Y: 4099080.6931915283
- Zona: 32