Riotinto mining area in Huelva

16 Nov
Last update: 20 January, 2020

Let yourself be impressed by the breathtaking landscapes of Riotinto mining area and find out how many interesting facts you knew about it before reading it!

Some of the beauties of Andalucia are unknown to many. Therefore, we want to provide you with some interesting facts about the Riotinto mining area. Keep reading and get to know this spectacular area between the province of Huelva and Seville.

1. The Riotinto mining area is old…

The Riotinto mining area lies roughly 70 km north-east of Huelva and it is considered as one of the oldest mining districts in the whole world.

Riotinto Mining Bridge in Huelva

2. …like, really old!

In the Mining Museum, you can discover the history of the mines, which goes back to the 5,000-year-old megalithic tombs. You will also find a 200m-long re-creation of the mine during the Roman times.

3. The name of Riotinto is a colorful one

The name of this area derives from the river that is born in the Peña del Hierro, a 65m-deep open-cast mine, located 3 km north of the town of Nerva. The characteristic red colour (Río Tinto means “red river” in Spanish) comes from the deep red-brownish hue of its waters produced by the reaction of its acidic waters with the iron and copper that fill the soil.

Riotinto river in Huelva

4. Riotinto is not only (a) mine

The mining district officially closed in 2001. However, you can enjoy its mesmerising landscapes thanks to the visit organised by Parque Minero de Riotinto, which offers you (and everyone else!) the possibility to enjoy a ride on the restored 20th-century mining train along 22km. Just remember to book ahead, since everyone wants to go for it!

5. It’s a landscape from another world…

Thanks to the high acid levels registered in the Riotinto mining area’s soil, NASA and Madrid’s Centro de Astrobiología have been conducting researches in preparation to seeking life on Mars. The project, known as MARTE (Mars Analog Research and Technology Experiment), started in 2003, has been helping develop techniques and instruments for a future human exploration of the red planet.

Moreover, in April 2016, some dummy operations (Moonwalk project) were carried along in Riotinto by INTA (National Institute of Aerospatial Technique), to show how the conquest of the red planet would look like, regarding communication between the astronauts and Earth, special clothes and instruments, and so on.

Landscape of Riotinto Mining Area in Huelva

6. …as well as a royal mine

Do you know who King Salomon is? Well, he is said to have provided its famous temple with gold proceeding from the Riotinto mining area! And maybe you have heard about Queen Victoria too, haven’t you? One of the carriages that were supposed to carry the Queen along her tour of India was built here in 1892, the Vagón del Maharajah (the Maharajah’s waggon).

Places to stay between Huelva and Seville

Discovering all these interesting facts about the Riotinto mining area might have made you feel a bit tired. But don’t worry! You can relax in one of the magnificent holiday homes in the province of Huelva and Seville, to gain strength for the future discoveries!

You certainly know more now about the Riotinto mining area, don’t you?

Have you ever been to the Riotinto mining area? Was this post useful? Tell us in the comments below!

Riotinto mining area in Huelva is an article that talks about Culture in Huelva
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