Museo del Cantero


Useful Information

Location: At San Felices de los Gallegos, 90km west of Salamanca. Tickets sold at the castle.
Open: All year Tue-Fri 19:30-20, Sat-Sun 13:30-14, 19:30-20.
[2011]
Fee: Adults EUR 2, Children (0-4) free.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 1.50.
Combi ticket Aula de interpretación de San Felices, Museo del Aceite "El Lagar del Mudo", Museo del Cantero: Adults EUR 4.50.
[2011]
Classification: granite quarrying
Light: electric.
Dimension:  
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Museo del Cantero, Calle Pozos, 4, San Felices de los Gallegos (Salamanca), Tel: +34-923-521517, Fax: +34-923-521517. E-mail: contact
Oficina Municipal de Turismo de Gerena, Avenida de la Estación, s/n, 41860 Gerena (Seville), Tel.: +34-954-117086, Fax.: +34-955-782022. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:53:43 $

History

 
2007museum opened to the public.

Geology


Description

The Canteras de Gerena (Quarries of Gerena) were famous for their granite. They were started by the Romans and their granite was used for the Columns of Hercules, the cathedral of Sevilla, and even some streets of Paris were paved with this rock. In the early 20th century more than 200 families lived on the granite.

The Museo del Cantero (Quarrying Museum) is more or less a local history museum, which concentrates on the quarrying of the granite. It shows the tools and the machinery, there are models of the quarries, and there are lots of historic documents and photographs.

The ground floor is dedicated to the geology of the granite, its origin, its structure, the different kinds of rock mined here. It also explains the mining of the rock. In the middle of the room stands a huge model of a quarry, including tiny replicas of the workers, the donkeys which carried the stones to the station and the awnings protecting the workers from the sun and bad weather. There is a full spectrum of granite working tools like tongs, hammers, chisels, and augers. Many tools were specialized for this work and have names only in the language of the local miners. The most modern tools are an air compressor, which was used to power a winch to lift the stones and for numerous jackhammers. There is also a pump with a motor, used to extract water from the quarry. The safe where the explosives were kept was of great importance.

The second floor presents the work of the stonemasons, shows a typical workshop and the result of their work. It is dedicated to artisans and artists, working with the hard rock. The third floor shows the buildings, which were creating using granite from Gerena. There is a 10 minutes long film showing the most interesting buildings around San Felices.

The building of the museum was purchased by the city from the former Planters Cooperative. It was restored by students of masonry and landscaping, while students of tourism collected and cataloged the objects on display. Most of the material has been donated by former quarrymen and their families. The work was carried out by 30 people an lasted a year.

The grante mining was started in the mid 19th century. It saved the town from the economic crisis of this period. Its populrity even increased when the railroad arrived and made transport much easier. The granite was the main source of wealth until the mid 20th century. At this time the granite mining was no longer profitable because the manual extraction caused high wage costs. But today it is again a source of income, as it is exploited for tourism.


See also


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