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+34 926 710 438
 
  • Parish Church of San Sebastian
  • Historical-Mining Museum Francisco Pablo Holgado
  • Church of San Juan
  • Miner Monument
  • Fatima’s Hermitage
  • House Fúcares
 
Almadén > History and culture. What to visit
 
Parish Church of San Sebastian

It is one of the oldest churches in the town. Built in the XVIII century, it was almost completely demolished in the early nineteenth century and rebuilt in a smaller size.

Originally, back in the eighteenth century the present Church of San Sebastian was the parish church of Almadén, named parish of Nuestra Señora de la Estrella, which was entered from the Cerco de San Teodoro.

The church we can see today has little resemblance with the original church. Its facade, facing south, was triangular and with no bulrush and on the opposite side there was the belfry and probably the altar. Today we see, from the Mining Park side, much more brick and less masonry on this front. According to the old maps and drawings, it consisted of a single nave with important buttresses to give stability to the construction which might have been chapels.

In 1810 the French army sacked and burned several buildings in Almadén, among which was this church that was completely destroyed. At this point, it was decided to change the parish venue to the current parish church of Nrta. Sra. de la Estrella which was formerly known as Hermitage of Ntro. Padre Jesus.

In its reconstruction, some years later, the brick belfry we can see today was added and the access to the temple was moved from the west side to the east... During the twentieth century reforms were made in the church, dividing the entire nave in two heights and using the bottom as a store for processions and upper part as a soup kitchen and grain store.

Currently it shapes a rectangular floor with a circular head, built of masonry and brick lines with ashlar stones at the corners. It stands out because of its main entrance with semicircular archway finished by a circular pediment. It is worth noting a curious spiral staircase in its interior, made of holm oak wood.

It is currently closed to worship.

  • Address: Plaza de los Donantes de Sangre, s/n

 
Church of San Juan

This small church located in Plaza de la Constitución, was built as Capellanía de San Juan of the mines of Almadén in the eighteenth century.

It has a Greek cross plan, featuring in its rough stone facade and its stone doorway.
It has a small belfry and, below it, today we can see a rose window occupying the space of a former clock.

Inside, the staircase leads to the choir. It is worthwhile seeing the Christ of the Miners located on the main altar.

  • Address: Plaza de la Constitución, s/n
 
Fatima’s Hermitage

Today’s hermitage in honor to the Virgen de Fatima (Our Lady of Fatima) was formerly known as Ermita de Santa Ana and, before that, as Ermita del Cristo de la Fuensanta. Over time, therefore, the chapel has undergone innumerable changes.

With Greek cross plan, it currently consists of two lateral chapels and it is particularly noteworthy in its facade, the central front made of tile brick crowned by a triangular pediment and a belfry.

It is a place of great devotion and pilgrimage for the people of the municipality.

  • Address: Avda. Ramón y Cajal, 129
  • Opening Times: Monday to Sunday all day
 
Parish church of Ntra.Señora de la Estrella

In 1747, the primitive hermitage of Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno was expanded and converted into a church with the alms of the miners, being from that moment named Nuestra Señora de la Estrella.

Its main entrance, of Renaissance style , is organized in two bodies, the lower one with an access door flanked by two twin columns on plinth, and the upper one, finished after the Spanish Civil War, which consists of central span crowned by a triangular pediment.
All this is topped by a cornice with corbels protruding from the belfry built on the lantern-vault. In 1885 the City Council built a clock tower on the bulrush with an iron top.

The interior is a Latin cross plan with lateral chapels. The main altar is dedicated to the veneration of the image of Jesus of Nazareth, a copy made by Luis Marcos Perez, from Cuenca from the image that was burned in 1955. Other prominent images are the Virgen de los Dolores, highly revered in Almadén, and the Cristo de la Fuensanta of the sixteenth century and the oldest image in the temple.

At the foot, a semicircular Baroque painting where we can see a Christ who reminds us of the central figure of the Forge of Vulcan and which could be the work of the local artist Juan Martin Cabezalero.

  • Address: Plaza de Jesús, s/n
  • Opening Times: Monday to Sunday mornings
 
 
Historical-Mining Museum Francisco Pablo Holgado

Located within the current Mining and Industrial Engineering School of Almaden, this museum was created in 1988 as a result of the initiative of a group of mineralogy lovers, both teachers and individuals, who donated the first pieces.

Interesting and innumerable collections of minerals, rocks and fossils are exhibited in it.
An interesting review of the history of mining in the region and the Academy of Mining is carried out, showing tools and instruments used by the students of the school for learning different subjects.

In the central courtyard of the School there is a set of industrial archeology of great beauty and interest, consisting of a mining derrick (from the Mina Diogenes) wagons, rails, metal frames and the first electric flour mill that existed in the town.

  • Address: Pza. de Manuel Meca, 1
  • Ticket price: free
  • Phone: +34 926 26 40 07
 
Archeological-Ethnographic Museum

Exhibition of archaeological remains that allow us to know, preserve and spread the history of Almaden, from the first inhabitants of these lands in the Upper Chalcolithic period (3500 BC) to the present day, through Roman, Visigothic, Arab times, etc. We can see pieces of pottery, old coins and utensils from the Bronze Age.

Moreover, elements that show the wide and varied heritage linked to traditions and customs are exhibited, reflecting daily life both at home and in the mining, agriculture or handicrafts.

  • Address: Avda. del Norte, 45
 
 
Bullfighting Museum

Located inside the bullring, this museum allows us to know the oldest and most wel-known bullrings in the world.Not only the origin and history of the Plaza de Toros de Almaden, built in the mid XVIII century will be known, but also their construction details, the use of rafters and clay or the archery used by the Muslim master builders who built it.

Thanks to audiovisual and interpretive panels, a bullfighting review is undertaken at a general level, from its origins to the present times, with an exhibition of photographs, costumes and tools used in the different bullfighting passes. A prominent place at the museum is that referred to the local bullfighting history, represented by bullfighters such as Rafael Martin "El Zorro", Teodoro Munoz and Pedro Velazquez.

  • Address: Plaza Waldo Ferrer, 23
 
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Waldo Ferrer Museum

It is located in the school "Children of workers". The museum takes us back to the world of our childhood, where through colorful panels, old materials and small theaters, and waves of imagination and enchantment, it tells us in an attractive and educational way about the history of the School of Art. A place for feelings which you should not miss.

  • Address: Avda. de la Libertad, 1
  • Phone: +34 926 71 04 24 (school hours) y 656 234 752 (evenings and holidays)
  • + info: [ http://issuu.com ]
 
Palace of the Superintendence

It is located next to the Church of San Sebastian, and it was intended to be house the superintendents and to serve as accountancy and payment offices. Its location next to the mine allowed the superintendent to have a greater control on the works.

The first accounts coming to us are from the XVIII century, of a Baroque style and the only remains are the enclosure and part of the front door, made of stone with double pilasters and lintel with triglyphs and metopes. A small park has been created in its interior and rest of the house has entirely disappeared.

  • Address: Pza. de los Donantes de Sangres, s/s
 
Miner Monument

This sculptural work pays homage to all miners from Almadén and its district, elected by popular subscription and performed by the son of the villa Leovigildo Gallardo Blanco

The Miner Monument represents the history of over two thousand years, the hard and unflagging miner’s work and the history of these people; the rebellion against the exploitation of men for a miserable salary and the testimony of a region that jointly achieved the intended objectives.

It was inaugurated, in an emotional ceremony, on September 7, 1996, on the eve of the feast of the Virgen de la Mina.

  • Address: Plaza Waldo Ferrer
 
House Fúcares

Located in the old town, it was built by the Dominican order at the dawning of the first Inquisition and was used afterwards as the residence of the Függer family representatives (Fúcares) while they had the mine leased (1521-1646).

The facade still has an interesting stone doorway with a marked lintel cornice. Flanking the central shield a sword and a palm protrude, representing the political and religious power.On both sides, two dogs with two torches make reference to the order of the Dominican monks (Dominnis canis).

At present, and after a very delicate restoration, it has been converted into a small charming hotel. www.almadenhotelcondesfucares.com

  • Address: Mayor de San Juan, 75
  • Opening Times Only the outside can be visited
 
Mining Academy House

In the mid-eighteenth century Almadén mines were in a poor condition, with a neglected work organization, strikes, arson, riots and many quarrels which harmed the normal course of work and prevented it from obtaining good economic results. This situation was due to a large extent, to the negligence they had suffered during the lease to the family of the Fugger German bankers (1525-1645) and to the mistakes and lack of Estate resources thereafter.

The Crown, taking into account the innovative air that crossed Europe with the enlightened ideas boom, and aware of the high potential of the mines of Almadén (necessary to obtain precious American metals which went straight into the royal treasury), states its concern about the situation of these mines and thus it implements a series of actions in order to improve the organization of the mining establishment. As a result of these actions there was an influx of foreign experts counseling and implementing modern techniques to improve the effectiveness of the mines and the trade organization.

The rulers of the time began to worry about promoting the teaching of mining and therefore, in 1756, they hired the services of Carlos Köeler, who was forced to teach the mining and metallurgy of mercury. His unexpected death prevented the creation of the School of Almadén at that time, having to wait until July 14, 1777, date of the appointment by Royal Decree of Henri Christophe Störr as manager of the mine, "with the obligation to teach the young mathematicians, who shall be sent from these kingdoms and those of America to be destined and instructed in the Theorica and Practice, the Underground Geometry and Mineralogy ".

So, under this condition, that Carlos III imposed on Henri Christophe Störr when he was appointed manager of the mines of Almadén, the first School of Mines in Spain and fourth in the world was created, just behind Freiberg (Germany, 1767), Schemitzz ( Slovakia, 1770) and St. Petersburg (Russia, 1772).

Henri Christophe Störr was an underground mine engineer, from Germany, who served as interim manager since the death of Köeler, occurred in 1757. He was appointed manager as a reward for his services, after having contributed to the extinction of the devastating fire in 1755 which lasted for two and a half years, restoring the works at the mines after it and enhancing the production of mercury.

Once the academy was founded, it was necessary to find a right place for both theoretical teaching and accommodation of students, on a boarding basis at the expense of the Royal Treasury. At the beginning, the housing was arranged by means of a house rented to the treasurer of the mines being the classes imparted at Störr’s own residence. Given the awkwardness of the situation, a Royal Order of 1781 provided for the construction of a suitable building for that purpose which would be inaugurated by the end of 1785. In the first instance, the idea was conceived as two buildings, one for the academy itself and another as lodging for students, but it was not carried out because it was further decided to construct just  one building which suited both functions.

Students, who were called young math teachers or young mathematicians because they were required prior training in this area as a previous requirement for their admission, had to attend class on a daily basis in an academic outfit and to perform the practices at the mine. The subjects initially taught were underground geometry, physics, chemistry, mineralogy and drawing. The system of education was similar to that of military engineers, hence during their training they obtained the cadets status of a regiment of America and as such they were uniformed. The institution hosted students from different parts of the Spanish geography interested in mining techniques.

They could see personalities like Fausto d'Elhuyar, (discoverer of tungsten), on the staff of teachers and Andrés Manuel del Río, student and researcher who discovered vanadium.

Its existence was languishing for several years, blurred and interrupted during the War of Independence and the center did not regain its vitality until the nineteenth century, when changes in the curriculum were established as well as in the admission regime.

In 1835 the Academy of Mines was transferred to Madrid, where the Special School of Mining Engineers was founded. The original school lost its primary function, turned into a Practical Training School of Mining, becoming the first School of Mining Foremen in the country. Different regulations set the standard for this new degree to which those of Facultative, Foreman, Expert and Technical Engineer of Mines followed.

Until 1973, when the transfer to the new building of the current School of Mining and Industrial Engineering Academy of Almadén took place, the building housed these teachings and was a real source of mining technicians. Later on it had other uses such as housing of the administrator of mines, kinder garden or holster for travelers.

It is a rectangular building with the larger side on its facade. It has a large landscaped courtyard on its back side. It has two floors facing the street and two cellars in the back to save the obstacle of the uneven ground. His greatest interest lies in the facade and in particular on the doorway and upper balcony crowned by a shield. Except for the cover, which is made of stone, the rest is rendered in a padded design.

  • Address: Mayor de San Juan, 72
  • Currently the House Academy building is being restored.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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