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User / Marcial Bernabéu / Sets / Spain - Castilla & La Mancha
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España - Ciudad Real - Almadén - Mina

ENGLISH:

The mercury deposits of Almaden account for the largest quantity of liquid mercury metal produced in the world. Approximately 250,000 metric tons of mercury have been produced there in the past 2,000 years.

The geology of the area is characterised by volcanism. Almaden is home to the world's greatest reserves of cinnabar, a mineral associated with recent volcanic activity, from which mercury is extracted. Cinnabar was first used for pigment by the Romans. Later, the mineral was used mostly in medicine and alchemy during the Arab domination of Spain.

The Fuggers of Augsburg, two German bankers, administered the mines during the 16th and 17th centuries in return for loans to the Spanish government. Mercury became very valuable in the Americas in the mid 16th century due to the introduction of amalgamation, a process that uses mercury to extract the metals from gold and silver ore. The demand for mercury grew, and so did the town's importance as a center of mining and industry. Most of the mercury produced at this time was sent to Seville, then to the Americas.

The dangerous working conditions of the mines made it difficult for the Fuggers to find willing laborers. As the demand for mercury grew, the idea of convict labor was introduced. Safer mining technology was introduced in the last quarter of the 18th century, and free laborers began to take interest in the mine again. By the end of the century, free workers had replaced most of the slave labor. The penal establishment at Almaden was closed in 1801.

In 1916, a special council was created to operate the mines, introducing new technology and safety improvements. A record production of 82,000 mercury flasks was reached in 1941, just after the Spanish Civil War. The price for mercury decreased from a peak of US$571 in 1965 to US$121 in 1976 making economic planning difficult. In 1981, the Spanish government created the company Minas de Almaden y Arrayanes to operate the mine. In 2000, the mines closed due to the fall of the price of mercury in the international market, caused by falling demand. However, Almaden still has one of the world's largest mercury resources.

Almaden is now a World Heritage Site. A museum has been built, including visit to the mines (areas from 16th to 20th century).

*******************************************************************************

ESPAÑOL:

Las reservas de Almadén de cinabrio (mineral del que se extrae el mercurio) son las más grandes del mundo y eran ya explotadas por los romanos en tiempos de Estrabón, Vitrubio y Plinio, que aluden al cinabrio de Almadén al mencionar la cercana ciudad romana de Sisapo, ubicada en el valle de Alcudia.

Para entender la importancia de esta mina que sobrepasa los 700 metros de profundidad bastan 2 datos: ha estado en activo 2.000 años, y un tercio de todo el mercurio que ha utilizado la humanidad ha sido extraído de ella.

Si bien la prohibición de seguir usando mercurio desde 2011, dictada por la Unión Europea debido al riesgo de envenenamiento por mercurio, han llevado a su cierre aún teniendo una gran reserva de cinabrio sin haber sido extraído.

Actualmente se ha transformado en el Parque Minero de Almadén, nombrado Patrimonio de la Humanidad, el cual se puede visitar.

El mercurio, la plata viva de los romanos, se muestra en el Parque en todos sus aspectos, la extracción de su mineral, el cinabrio, sulfuro de mercurio, su transformación en los hornos metalúrgicos, sus propiedades físicas y químicas, sus usos y, cómo no, su historia.

La visita al Parque Minero de Almadén comienza por las instalaciones mineras de superficie en el Centro de Visitantes y prosigue por los antiguos talleres y los castilletes de los pozos de San Aquilino y San Teodoro, así como el Centro de Interpretación de la Minería.

Se recorre a pie una parte del interior de uno de los túneles, bajando a 50 metros de profundidad, en una jaula minera. Se trata de una zona de mina real explotada en los siglos XVI y XVII, incluida la joya de la visita, el baritel de San Andrés con su majestuoso malacate, capilla sixtina del patrimonio minero.

La salida a superficie se realiza por medio de un tren de vagonetas habilitado para el transporte del público, continuando la visita con las instalaciones de exterior, para pasar posteriormente al Museo del Mercurio donde se encuentran salas dedicadas a la geología y paleontología de la zona, experimentos interactivos de la física y química del mercurio, la historia de la metalurgia de este metal y el transporte hasta América.

Tags:   Marcial Bernabeu Bernabéu Spain España Castilla La Mancha Ciudad Real Almaden Almadén Mina Mine Marc WHL-1313 Europa WHL-1313-ESP

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España - Ciudad Real - Chillón - Mirador

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Desde este mirador situado en la Ermita de la Virgen del Castillo se divisa el embalse de La Serena y 3 comunidades autónomas españolas: Córdoba (Andalucía), Badajoz (Extremadura) y Ciudad Real (Castilla - La Mancha).

Tags:   Marcial Bernabeu Bernabéu Spain España Castilla La Mancha Ciudad Real Chillon Chillón Mountains Montañas Mirador Lookout Viewpoint Telescopio Telescope View Vistas Marc

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España - Ciudad Real - Almadén - Plaza de toros hexagonal

ENGLISH:

Building declared UNESCO World Heritage Site on june, 30th, 2012, unique in the world with its hexagonal shape and possibly the oldest bullring in Spain.

The construction of the Plaza de Toros of Almadén is closely linked to the San Rafael Royal Mining Hospital.

In early August 1752, the superintendent of the mines, which at the time was Mr. Francisco Javier de Villegas, given the frequent epidemics and high mortality among the population and forced laborers in the mines, proposed the foundation of the San Rafael Royal Mining Hospital.

These epidemics were motivated, among other reasons, by the housing shortage to accommodate the seasonal workers of the mines. This resulted in the construction of 24 houses shaping a hexagonal plaza with a dual purpose, to avoid overcrowding in the neighborhood - 4 or 5 families per house - which increased the risk of epidemics, and to contribute, with its rental, with money to build the Mining Hospital.

These 24 houses, in turn, formed a ring for the celebration of bullfighting festivals and was a meeting place for the general population, with a capacity of 4,000 people, investing likewise the income obtained in such celebrations in the construction of the San Rafael Royal Mining Hospital.

Another reason for the construction of the bullring was the spread of the mining works to the plaza where, up to then, the bullfighting celebrations had been taking place (currently Plaza de la Constitución). In fact, there is a winch (mineshaft) located in what today are the stairs to the Church of San Juan. For this reason, the arc located under Almadén Town Hall is known as “el toril", since it is the place where the bulls were enclosed. At the same time, and for the same reason, Antonio Blazquez Street is locally known under the name of "street of the bulls," as this is the street by where the bulls were brought to the pen to be enclosed.

Once the "Plaza Nueva" was built, the project of at least six annual bullfight festivals, with five or six bulls each, was established with the aim of raising revenue for the construction of the hospital.

The Villegas superintendent did not wait for the approval of his superiors to start working on the plaza. In an official statement on August 16, 1752 he reported the commencement of the construction, while requesting permission to hold the first bullfights celebration in order to get the first money to meet the loans granted for its construction by the town residents, mainly mine journeymen and members of the Charity Congregation.

These requests are approved by Royal Order of August 28, 1752. On April 4, 1753 all interior and exterior walls up to the first floor had been built in order to celebrate the first festivals. The rental of the houses, mainly intended for seasonal workers accommodation, began in late 1753 with only 8 inhabited houses and in 1755 more than half of them were inhabited and the number of occupants exceeded 200.

Between 1755 and 1757 the works were forced unemployment of the mine workers due to the fire that affected the mines, and which lasted for two and a half years. During this period, both the square and the hospital itself-which began its construction in November 1755- benefited from the use of a greater number of workers in an attempt to avoid a massive emigration.

The old houses are placed on two floors surrounding the arena, which is formed in turn by two galleries in height, being the lower built in whitewashed arcade and the upper by wooden columns and wooden structure holding elements. After their rehabilitation in 2003, still today important bullfighting festivals take place and it also houses the Bullfighting Museum, exhibition hall, Tourist Office, restaurant and hotel.

*******************************************************************************

ESPAÑOL:

La plaza de toros de Almadén, construida a partir de 1752, es única en el mundo por su forma HEXAGONAL, además está considerada como una de las plazas de toros más antigua de España.

La construcción originaria de la plaza de toros de Almadén, hay que vincularla a la construcción del Real Hospital de Mineros de San Rafael. El entonces superintendente de las Minas, D. Francisco Javier de Villegas, ante las reiteradas epidemias y alta mortandad que existía en la población y en los forzados que trabajaban en las minas, propone la fundación del Real Hospital de Mineros. Las epidemias y la falta de alojamientos, fueron motivo para que se construyeran veinticuatro VIVIENDAS en esta plaza hexagonal. Dichas viviendas tendrían una doble finalidad: evitar el hacinamiento de vecinos en las casas de la localidad, que estaba en cuatro o cinco familias por casa, lo que aumentaba el riesgo de epidemias y aportar dinero con el alquiler de las mismas, para la construcción del Hospital de Mineros. La plaza en sí, con capacidad para unas cuatro mil personas, se destinaría a la celebración de festejos taurinos y serviría de centro cívico de la población.

De dos pisos de altura, constituido por una sola manzana, integrada por veinticuatro viviendas al exterior con cubierta de teja acusada y curiosas e interesantes chimeneas; se mantiene el zócalo y el encalado, en su interior se diseñó la plaza de toros propiamente dicha, con dos alturas, la baja formada por arcos y la superior adintelada por soportes.

En 1754, Fernando VI prohibió la celebración de festejos taurinos en todo el Reino. Con esta disposición, pretendía la recuperación de la cabaña ganadera, diezmada por la sequía y las epidemias. Pero esta medida no afectó a Almadén, ya que el Superintendente Villegas, argumentando el destino benéfico de los ingresos, obtuvo una dispensa para la celebración de festejos.

Desde 1979 es Monumento Histórico Nacional y desde 2012 es Patrimonio de la Humanidad de la Unesco.

Actualmente es un edificio privado. Su última restauración finalizó en el año 2003, y hoy día se celebran importantes festejos taurinos, así como alberga sala de exposiciones, oficina de turismo, hotel y restaurante.

Tags:   Marcial Bernabeu Bernabéu Spain España Castilla La Mancha Ciudad Real Almaden Almadén Plaza Toros Bullring Hexagonal Marc

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España - Ciudad Real - Almadén - Plaza de toros hexagonal y hotel

ENGLISH:

Building declared UNESCO World Heritage Site on june, 30th, 2012, unique in the world with its hexagonal shape and possibly the oldest bullring in Spain.

The construction of the Plaza de Toros of Almadén is closely linked to the San Rafael Royal Mining Hospital.

In early August 1752, the superintendent of the mines, which at the time was Mr. Francisco Javier de Villegas, given the frequent epidemics and high mortality among the population and forced laborers in the mines, proposed the foundation of the San Rafael Royal Mining Hospital.

These epidemics were motivated, among other reasons, by the housing shortage to accommodate the seasonal workers of the mines. This resulted in the construction of 24 houses shaping a hexagonal plaza with a dual purpose, to avoid overcrowding in the neighborhood - 4 or 5 families per house - which increased the risk of epidemics, and to contribute, with its rental, with money to build the Mining Hospital.

These 24 houses, in turn, formed a ring for the celebration of bullfighting festivals and was a meeting place for the general population, with a capacity of 4,000 people, investing likewise the income obtained in such celebrations in the construction of the San Rafael Royal Mining Hospital.

Another reason for the construction of the bullring was the spread of the mining works to the plaza where, up to then, the bullfighting celebrations had been taking place (currently Plaza de la Constitución). In fact, there is a winch (mineshaft) located in what today are the stairs to the Church of San Juan. For this reason, the arc located under Almadén Town Hall is known as “el toril", since it is the place where the bulls were enclosed. At the same time, and for the same reason, Antonio Blazquez Street is locally known under the name of "street of the bulls," as this is the street by where the bulls were brought to the pen to be enclosed.

Once the "Plaza Nueva" was built, the project of at least six annual bullfight festivals, with five or six bulls each, was established with the aim of raising revenue for the construction of the hospital.

The Villegas superintendent did not wait for the approval of his superiors to start working on the plaza. In an official statement on August 16, 1752 he reported the commencement of the construction, while requesting permission to hold the first bullfights celebration in order to get the first money to meet the loans granted for its construction by the town residents, mainly mine journeymen and members of the Charity Congregation.

These requests are approved by Royal Order of August 28, 1752. On April 4, 1753 all interior and exterior walls up to the first floor had been built in order to celebrate the first festivals. The rental of the houses, mainly intended for seasonal workers accommodation, began in late 1753 with only 8 inhabited houses and in 1755 more than half of them were inhabited and the number of occupants exceeded 200.

Between 1755 and 1757 the works were forced unemployment of the mine workers due to the fire that affected the mines, and which lasted for two and a half years. During this period, both the square and the hospital itself-which began its construction in November 1755- benefited from the use of a greater number of workers in an attempt to avoid a massive emigration.

The old houses are placed on two floors surrounding the arena, which is formed in turn by two galleries in height, being the lower built in whitewashed arcade and the upper by wooden columns and wooden structure holding elements. After their rehabilitation in 2003, still today important bullfighting festivals take place and it also houses the Bullfighting Museum, exhibition hall, Tourist Office, restaurant and hotel.

*******************************************************************************

ESPAÑOL:

La plaza de toros de Almadén, construida a partir de 1752, es única en el mundo por su forma HEXAGONAL, además está considerada como una de las plazas de toros más antigua de España.

La construcción originaria de la plaza de toros de Almadén, hay que vincularla a la construcción del Real Hospital de Mineros de San Rafael. El entonces superintendente de las Minas, D. Francisco Javier de Villegas, ante las reiteradas epidemias y alta mortandad que existía en la población y en los forzados que trabajaban en las minas, propone la fundación del Real Hospital de Mineros. Las epidemias y la falta de alojamientos, fueron motivo para que se construyeran veinticuatro VIVIENDAS en esta plaza hexagonal. Dichas viviendas tendrían una doble finalidad: evitar el hacinamiento de vecinos en las casas de la localidad, que estaba en cuatro o cinco familias por casa, lo que aumentaba el riesgo de epidemias y aportar dinero con el alquiler de las mismas, para la construcción del Hospital de Mineros. La plaza en sí, con capacidad para unas cuatro mil personas, se destinaría a la celebración de festejos taurinos y serviría de centro cívico de la población.

De dos pisos de altura, constituido por una sola manzana, integrada por veinticuatro viviendas al exterior con cubierta de teja acusada y curiosas e interesantes chimeneas; se mantiene el zócalo y el encalado, en su interior se diseñó la plaza de toros propiamente dicha, con dos alturas, la baja formada por arcos y la superior adintelada por soportes.

En 1754, Fernando VI prohibió la celebración de festejos taurinos en todo el Reino. Con esta disposición, pretendía la recuperación de la cabaña ganadera, diezmada por la sequía y las epidemias. Pero esta medida no afectó a Almadén, ya que el Superintendente Villegas, argumentando el destino benéfico de los ingresos, obtuvo una dispensa para la celebración de festejos.

Desde 1979 es Monumento Histórico Nacional y desde 2012 es Patrimonio de la Humanidad de la Unesco.

Actualmente es un edificio privado. Su última restauración finalizó en el año 2003, y hoy día se celebran importantes festejos taurinos, así como alberga sala de exposiciones, oficina de turismo, hotel y restaurante.

Tags:   Marcial Bernabeu Bernabéu Spain España Castilla La Mancha Ciudad Real Almaden Almadén Plaza Toros Hexagonal Bullring Hotel Marc

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España - Ciudad Real - Almadén - Mina

ENGLISH:

The mercury deposits of Almaden account for the largest quantity of liquid mercury metal produced in the world. Approximately 250,000 metric tons of mercury have been produced there in the past 2,000 years.

The geology of the area is characterised by volcanism. Almaden is home to the world's greatest reserves of cinnabar, a mineral associated with recent volcanic activity, from which mercury is extracted. Cinnabar was first used for pigment by the Romans. Later, the mineral was used mostly in medicine and alchemy during the Arab domination of Spain.

The Fuggers of Augsburg, two German bankers, administered the mines during the 16th and 17th centuries in return for loans to the Spanish government. Mercury became very valuable in the Americas in the mid 16th century due to the introduction of amalgamation, a process that uses mercury to extract the metals from gold and silver ore. The demand for mercury grew, and so did the town's importance as a center of mining and industry. Most of the mercury produced at this time was sent to Seville, then to the Americas.

The dangerous working conditions of the mines made it difficult for the Fuggers to find willing laborers. As the demand for mercury grew, the idea of convict labor was introduced. Safer mining technology was introduced in the last quarter of the 18th century, and free laborers began to take interest in the mine again. By the end of the century, free workers had replaced most of the slave labor. The penal establishment at Almaden was closed in 1801.

In 1916, a special council was created to operate the mines, introducing new technology and safety improvements. A record production of 82,000 mercury flasks was reached in 1941, just after the Spanish Civil War. The price for mercury decreased from a peak of US$571 in 1965 to US$121 in 1976 making economic planning difficult. In 1981, the Spanish government created the company Minas de Almaden y Arrayanes to operate the mine. In 2000, the mines closed due to the fall of the price of mercury in the international market, caused by falling demand. However, Almaden still has one of the world's largest mercury resources.

Almaden is now a World Heritage Site. A museum has been built, including visit to the mines (areas from 16th to 20th century).

*******************************************************************************

ESPAÑOL:

Las reservas de Almadén de cinabrio (mineral del que se extrae el mercurio) son las más grandes del mundo y eran ya explotadas por los romanos en tiempos de Estrabón, Vitrubio y Plinio, que aluden al cinabrio de Almadén al mencionar la cercana ciudad romana de Sisapo, ubicada en el valle de Alcudia.

Para entender la importancia de esta mina que sobrepasa los 700 metros de profundidad bastan 2 datos: ha estado en activo 2.000 años, y un tercio de todo el mercurio que ha utilizado la humanidad ha sido extraído de ella.

Si bien la prohibición de seguir usando mercurio desde 2011, dictada por la Unión Europea debido al riesgo de envenenamiento por mercurio, han llevado a su cierre aún teniendo una gran reserva de cinabrio sin haber sido extraído.

Actualmente se ha transformado en el Parque Minero de Almadén, nombrado Patrimonio de la Humanidad, el cual se puede visitar.

El mercurio, la plata viva de los romanos, se muestra en el Parque en todos sus aspectos, la extracción de su mineral, el cinabrio, sulfuro de mercurio, su transformación en los hornos metalúrgicos, sus propiedades físicas y químicas, sus usos y, cómo no, su historia.

La visita al Parque Minero de Almadén comienza por las instalaciones mineras de superficie en el Centro de Visitantes y prosigue por los antiguos talleres y los castilletes de los pozos de San Aquilino y San Teodoro, así como el Centro de Interpretación de la Minería.

Se recorre a pie una parte del interior de uno de los túneles, bajando a 50 metros de profundidad, en una jaula minera. Se trata de una zona de mina real explotada en los siglos XVI y XVII, incluida la joya de la visita, el baritel de San Andrés con su majestuoso malacate, capilla sixtina del patrimonio minero.

La salida a superficie se realiza por medio de un tren de vagonetas habilitado para el transporte del público, continuando la visita con las instalaciones de exterior, para pasar posteriormente al Museo del Mercurio donde se encuentran salas dedicadas a la geología y paleontología de la zona, experimentos interactivos de la física y química del mercurio, la historia de la metalurgia de este metal y el transporte hasta América.

Tags:   Marcial Bernabeu Bernabéu Spain España Castilla La Mancha Ciudad Real Almaden Almadén Mina Mine Marc


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