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Look around.
Admire the industrial heritage

Silhouettes of mining scaffolds dominate the horizon, steam machines rolling over metal tracks, towns born out of industrial paternalism... All a testimony to the richness that flows from underground, from the rivers and seafloor, to how men and women tried to tame nature.

This image is very different from the rural Asturias of the 19th century, whose inhabitants lived off of agriculture and livestock farming and only had a few canning factories and arms factories built in the 18th century. The men and women of Asturias had known about coal for at least two centuries but they had never shown an interest in mining it. But industrialisation required fuel and the Asturian deposits were too highly sought-after.
The Mining and Industry Museum
Don't miss...
  • Mining and Industry Museum of Asturias - MUMI - (El Entrego-San Martín del Rey Aurelio).
  • Samuño Valley Mining Ecomuseum (Ciaño-Langreo).
  • Sotón Pit (Sotrondio-San Martín del rey Aurelio).
  • Mining town of Bustiello (Mieres).
  • Arnao Mine Museum (Arnao-Castrillón).
  • Railway Museum of Asturias (Gijón).
Coal mining opened the way for all the rest. With mining came the metallurgical and steel industry and power production, fuelled also by the abundance of water. The railway became the main figure of industrialisation. The landscape of the Principality was transformed, driving it towards the future.

The Steelworks Museum of Asturias
Asturias's industrial heritage, protected by the Spanish Cultural Heritage Law, includes three types of assets: isolated elements, such as the Tabaco Factory, located in the centre of Gijón; industrial plants, such as the one in Arnao or the Trubia Arms Factory; and whole landscapes revealing a range of different activities, such as in the Nalón and Caudal basins and, more specifically, the mining landscape of Turón.

We recommend...

La experiencia minera en el Valle del Nalón

La cuenca del Nalón ofrece tres formas de acercarse a la minería y a su importancia urbanística, social y económica. La primera es a través del Museo de la Minería y la Industria de L'Entregu/El Entrego, recorriendo su completo espacio expositivo. La segunda es siguiendo esta indicación: "Ven a conocer un valle, un pueblo y una mina". Así se presenta el Ecomuseo de Samuño al viajero. La experiencia permite recorrer dos kilómetros en un tren siguiendo la ruta en la que se transportaba el carbón extraído de las explotaciones, visitar el conjunto exterior del antiguo Pozo San Luis y explorar el entorno de la localidad de La Nueva. La tercera alternativa, mucho más intensa, es la de adentrarse directamente en la oscuridad de la mina, donde se ha forjado el solidario carácter de los mineros. La compañía Hunosa ofrece visitas guiadas al Pozo Sotón. Se desciende hasta 556 metros en la típica jaula y se recorren las plantas octava, novena y décima.
Arnao Mine
These buildings and industrial structures dot the horizon of Asturias. Taking a trip along the motorways of the Principality you will see the outlines of the scaffolds that lowered the cages down into the pits, the unique architecture of the mining neighbourhoods, factories, old gas tanks and lofty chimneys. Be surprised by the business centre of Valnalón, the mining town of Bustiello or the scaffolds and pitheads of Mosquitera, Candín or San Fernando. Hidden inside the Salime Hydroelectric Power Station, the largest dam in Asturias, are wall paintings and low relief sculptures by architects and artists, as well as father and son Joaquín Vaquero Palacios and Joaquín Vaquero Turcios.

The motorways also pass by examples of the flourishing food-processing industry or other traditional arts.

Salime Hydroelectric Dam
Old coal loading dock of San Esteban de Pravia
El Gaitero cider factory combines its activities with guided visits of their permanent collection and brewery, ending with a cider tasting session. A lot of other cider-press houses also offer similar activities. The canning industry led to almost a hundred of factories being opened, which provided a traditional source of employment for women. The Permanent Exhibition of the Canning Industry in Candás is located in the old cistern of the Bernardo Alfageme Cannery and Cider Factory.It contains a whole set of equipment that helps you understand the industrial activities and the working conditions of the workers and communities that were formed around about it.
Canning industry
The Mining and Industry Museum (MUMI) in El Entrego explores the historical memory of coal mining and has a mock mine. The Steelworks Museum of Asturias (MUSI) housed in a cooling tower of an old Duro Felguera Plant, in Langreo. The mining complex of Arnao has one peculiarity that distinguishes it from the rest: some of its galleries run below the sea. Gijón's former railway station, Estación del Norte, now houses the Railway Museum of Asturias (MFA), which tells the history of the railway that became the backbone of life in the industrial revolution.

Railway Museum
Mining town of Bustiello