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The La Carolina Mining Museum

The La Carolina mining museum looks at mining from the very earliest times, through to the mid 20th century AD

By Nick Nutter | Last Updated 15 Mar 2022 | Jaén | Museums
Garnets in granite

Garnets in granite

La Carolina, in the far north of Jaén province in Andalucia, owes its existence to the valuable minerals found in the area, the southern flanks of the Sierra Morena mountains.

Bronze age axe mould - La Carolina

Bronze age axe mould - La Carolina

Humans first discovered metallic minerals during the Neolithic period. They used red and yellow lignite, mixed with animal fat, to make a paint that they used liberally in dozens of the cave shelters in the region. During the Copper and Bronze Ages, copper and lead ores were mined and the area became a focus for Carthaginian and Greek traders. The Romans later exploited the silver and lead but it was in the 19th century AD that mining became the primary source of income in the Area.

Moving a boiler by cart - La Carolina

Moving a boiler by cart - La Carolina

The La Carolina area attracted mining companies and investors from Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

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Chalcopyrites - La Carolina

Chalcopyrites - La Carolina

In Plaza de la Iglesia you will find the Centro de Interpretación de la Historia de la Minería en las Nuevas Poblaciones de Jaén, more commonly known as the La Carolina Mining Museum.

Mineral collection - La Carolina

Mineral collection - La Carolina

The museum looks at mining from the very earliest times, through to the mid 20th century AD when the last of the mines closed. Of particular interest is the fine collection of minerals from the local area.

Reconstructed mine adit - La Carolina

Reconstructed mine adit - La Carolina

The displays are enhanced by a wonderful selection of graphic photographs from the mid 19th century onwards, not just of the mines, you will find images of the housing and social activities of the miners. Mining was a dirty, tough, laborious and dangerous occupation. It is evident from the photographs that the miners were mercilessly exploited by the mining companies. Health and safety was not an issue. A little flavour of what it was like to work in a mine can be found in the walk through mining adit constructed in the museum.


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La Carolina mining museum opening times

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