In El Bierzo, northwest of the Montes Aquilanos and next to the valley of the River Sil, are located “Las Médulas”, fantastic landscape resulting from the Roman gold mines, and declared World Heritage by UNESCO. It is considered by historians as the largest open pit gold mine in the entire Roman Empire.
The engineering for the extraction of the mineral supposed the alteration of the environment but resulted in a sinuous and mysterious landscape of reddish stamp. Under the weeping cliffs, the gold of the Romans was hidden in the bowels of the mountains, which are now partly covered with vegetation of chestnut and oak.
With the mines abandoned centuries ago, “Las Médulas” landscape becomes a beautiful landscape of great tourist potential, that complete itself with the museum infrastructure of a cultural park in a true archeological classroom. Here it is described, in details, the period in which the largest open-air gold exploitation of the entire Roman Empire was operational.
“Las Médulas” were declared a site of Cultural Interest in 1996 due to their archaeological importance, being in the following year declared by Unesco World Heritage Site and Natural Monument in 2002. In 2016 was named one of the ten most impressive natural spots of Spain by Niumba of TripAdvisor
“Las Médulas” offer the visitor, besides a place of extraordinary beauty, the opportunity to know a curious and complicated system of exploitation that the Roman geographer and naturalist, Plino the Elder, calls “ruina montium”.
To know more about this fascinating site and how to plan your visit, please access the tourism web page of the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León…