Mercury mines in Almaden
I enjoyed the visit to the mercury mines of Almaden like a child.
I paid the entry fee (13 euro) and joined a small group of tourists. We were given helmets to protect our heads, just in case, and followed the guide. We all were Spaniards, so the explanation was in Spanish language, although the guides could also speak French and English.
We took the lift and descended 50 meters. There were more floors, until over 700 meters depth.
During two hours we walked along corridors and tunnels with stops for explanation in front of the old machines used to extract the cinnabar, the ore of mercury, or quicksilver.
The quicksilver from Almaden helped to extract the silver in the Spanish colonies in America during the colonial times.
After the mines we boarded a train, then a minibus. We saw museums and games for children. All was very didactic, very attractive, even for adult people.
Apart from those mines, Almaden has a hexagonal arena and a hospital unique in the world, where the workers of the Almaden mines were hospitalized when they became sick for mercury poisoning. In some periods of time, in the past in the Almaden mines was used slave labor.
Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija