In the grounds of the magnificent Madrid Railway Station is one of the finest mining museums in Spain the Mining Interpretation Centre at Linares in Jaen province.
By Nick Nutter | Updated 19 Jan 2023 | Jaén | Museums | Login to add to YOUR Favourites or Read LaterThis article has been visited 2,823 times
Electric tramcar circa 1901 - Linares
In the grounds of the magnificent Linarejos station, otherwise known as the Madrid Railway Station, is one of the finest mining museums in Spain, the Mining Interpretation Centre at Linares in Jaen province.
Linares Bas Relief
During the 19th century, new laws were enacted that helped to encourage investment in the mining industry. A golden age began. During the late 19th century foreign companies, British, French, Belgian and German, became involved in lead mining operations in and around Linares.
Steam engine image
The Mining Museum at Linares looks at the mining industry as a whole, concentrating on the period between the 19th century and the mid 20th century when mining ceased. The museum is not shy in emphasising the foreign involvement in the mining and railway industry and the hero of the museum is Thomas Sopwith, an English prospector and entrepreneur. Much of the mining machinery was manufactured in Britain and that too is well illustrated. Information is plentiful, all in Spanish. In fact it would be possible to write a book just from the text on the display boards.
Model mine workings Linares
The highlight of the museum are the carefully crafted scale models of a sample of the mines as they would have looked in their heyday. Today, hundreds of derelict mines, head gear and engine sheds litter the landscape. On the outskirts of the town a pithead derrick, built in Britain, and removed from one of the mines, celebrates this golden age in Linares.
Ore truck Linares
Outside the museum you can see a preserved example of a brake wagon used on the railway, together with an ore truck and one of the first trams to run on the, then, innovative tram system that ran through the town.
Image of Thomas Sopwith
The museum is divided into five sections, the first, as you enter the museum, is a huge scale model of the territory showing the mining towns. The second room looks at the history behind the mining industry. Room three is consecrated to the close connection between the city and mines, the economic activities that come from mining, the evolution of the urban areas, the emigration, the development of the daily life and the types of houses built to host miners and their families.
The fourth section has a display of the machinery and tools used in different eras and the final section takes you through the processing procedure, from the raw ores through to the finished metal.
For anybody wanting a comprehensive overview of the mining industry in the Linares area, this museum is an essential visit.