Lucía Mine, one of the only geological jewels of its kind in Europe - arabaturismo
There is a fascinating, extraordinary place in Álava that has captured the attention of geologists, tourists and nature lovers alike. The Lucía Mine, located in Atauri, offers visitors the opportunity to witness a truly amazing geological phenomenon.
What is the Lucía Mine?
The Lucía Mine is a small preindustrial natural asphalt mine located in the Izki Natural Park, in the Montaña Alavesa region. It gives visitors the opportunity to explore the galleries dug out with picks and spades, learn how this mineral was extracted and watch its walls continue to ooze.
Natural asphalt is a unique geological resource that was highly coveted at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th for constructing buildings and streets at a time of urban expansion. The Lucía Mine is the only natural asphalt mine open to the public in Spain and one of only two in Europe.
The natural asphalt in the Lucía Mine
The geological processes taking place in the Lucía Mine have created large deposits of natural asphalt, making this one of the few places in Europe where this remarkable phenomenon can be witnessed.
Natural asphalt is a living treasure in the Montaña Alavesa region and the project to recover and open the Lucía Mine to the public aims to provide an enjoyable way to learn about and share the lives of the people who did this kind of mining in the region.
The history of the Lucía Mine
This mine in Atauri began operations in 1872 and had a significant impact on the region’s economy, industry and society for nearly half a century. The Lucía Mine was not the only one, as there were other natural asphalt operations in the area that have left a notable impression on the popular culture, heritage and landscape of the Montaña Alavesa region.
Visiting the Lucía Mine
Anyone wishing to experience the wonder of the Lucía Mine can take a rigorously researched, respectful and sustainable guided tour. Specialists lead the tours on a 300-metre journey exploring the galleries and see natural asphalt close up. It’s a captivating, educational experience offering a deeper understanding of this geological phenomenon.
Guided tours take place on the weekend and entry for the general public costs €5. Reservations are required. Call 945 40 54 24 (Monday to Thursday) to book.
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