Riotinto mining park
Dating of the building: 3,000 BC - 20th century.
Applicant: José María Mantecón Jara, Río Tinto Foundation.
Reason for the award :
For the preservation of a mining legacy of more than two thousand years of history and the efforts to publicize the historical and economic importance of this activity.
The former owner of the famous mines knew how to reinvent it into a Foundation promoting the study and dissemination of mining from a location with five thousand years of history.
The crisis in the mining sector in the mid-1980s, caused by the fall in copper prices, led the owner company, Río Tinto Minera SA, to create in 1987 the Río Tinto Foundation for the History of Mining and Metallurgy. It is a private, permanent, non-profit cultural foundation. Its objectives are the study and research of the history of mining and metallurgy, and the conservation and restoration of the environmental complex through the constitution of mining parks, as well as the dissemination of the historical-cultural values, contained in the aforementioned heritage complex.
Since its beginning, there have been several key projects of the foundation: the management of the Riotinto Mining Park, created in 1992; the restoration of the Mining Museum in 1987; the recovery of a model Victorian house, Casa 21, in 1996: the start-up of the tourist mining train in 1994, which has the two oldest steam locomotives in Spain; and the establishment of the Peña de Hierro Mine as a tourist site in 2004. All these actions allow visitors to learn about the importance that mining has had in the history of Spain and Europe from the Chalcolithic to the 20th century.