Minas de Ríotinto

Minas de Riotinto is a municipality in the Spanish province of Huelva, Andalusia. On 1 January 2013, the community numbered 4090 inhabitants. Its surface area is 24 km ², thus the settlement has a population density of 170 inhabitants / km ². Minas de Riotinto lies about 74 km from its provincial capital, Huelva, Sevilla until there are just 90 km away.


The place name is due to the eponymous mines and by iron and copper deposits reddish colored waters of the river Río Tinto.


Population figures for the last ten years:



Minas de Riotinto was and is only dependent on the mining village. This dependence has produced characteristics that distinguishes the village from other Andalusian villages. The breakdown of the settlement, inheritance of the English presence in the mining industry between the late 19th and about the middle of the 20th century, retains a distinct colonial character not only in the structure of the road system, but also in the Victorian architecture, particularly in the neighborhoods " El Valle "and" Bella Vista ".

The history of ore mining in Minas de Riotinto can be dated back to the Bronze Age and culminates in the Tartessian culture and the colonization of the county of the Phoenicians. Discovered slag residues show a great development of the mining industry by introduced by the Romans technical innovations. Under the Almohad medical tinctures were from the ore-bearing rock extracted, whereas the mining was hardly developed in this dynasty.

Corporate exploitation of mines

Until the 18th century the mines were hardly used until they leased in 1775 the Swede L. Wolters by the Spanish state. 1873 buys a British consortium under the brothers Rothschild 30 - percent interest and the mines, founds the Riotinto Company Limited ( RTCL ) and opened up more mines. Already in 1875 the built in just two years rail link was opened in the provincial capital, which allowed a direct transport of ores gained up to the moles of Riotinto in the Atlantic port of Huelva and thus also documented the outstanding economic position of Riotinto.

The rapid expansion of the mining industry also led to social changes in the village structure, caused by the immigration of workers from other parts of Spain and Portugal. The original village structure was also disrupted by the demolition of the old Riotinto by the mining company thus established, the original location of the village stand the further expansion of mining in the way. The village population was in the quarter of UK construction plans newly built resettled " Del Valle ", while the management of the company in the exclusive Victorian Quarter "Bella Vista " settled, which has been preserved to this day in its original form. The living conditions of ordinary people were disastrous. The use of banned in England Teladas poisoned the air and many residents became ill or died. At a protest rally in 1888, the owners over 100 civilians by Spanish soldiers to be shot.

By 1903 in addition to small amounts of manganese and iron a total of approximately 80,000 tons of copper ore were promoted.

Nationalization of the mines and the Current Situation

1954 went to the mines back into public ownership over, the ore mining was carried out by various Spanish companies such as " Compañía española de Minas de Riotinto ", " Unión Explosivos Riotinto ", " Riotinto Patiño ", " Riotinto Minera " and " Minas de Riotinto SAL " of which the majority is now closed: Minas de Riotinto was not able to shine and success of past times to profound were the economic crises of the mining industry in the second half of the last century. 2001, the last mine was closed. Given currently appealing commodity prices, particularly for copper, however, rise to new perspectives for the ore at Rio Tinto. Today, we checked whether a reopening is worthwhile.

The 11 km long former mining train strand along the Rio Tinto is now a tourist attraction (Museo Ferroviario de Riotinto ). 1992 was opened in the former British hospital of the town a mining museum (Museo Minero ), which displays finds from all mining eras.

Minas de Riotinto, cradle of Spanish football

" Football" was played in Spain for the first time in Minas de Riotinto, introduced by himself from the mine takeover in 1873 perching end there Englishman. Until the opening of the railway line to Huelva on July 28, 1875 Minas de Riotinto was virtually cut off from the outside world, there were only minor roads to neighboring towns Zalamea la Real and Aracena. The British sought after work distraction and diversion in a village did not have to offer the leisure, and so they began to revive the popular in her home football game. The locals were surprised at this strange pastime, a ball kicked between two of a so-called "goal - keeper" guard post to shoot - and terrified mothers forbade the daughters of the village to watch this discharged in shorts spectacle.

1878, the mining company "Club Inglés ", which saw the emergence of the "Rio Tinto Foot -Ball Club" ( RTFC ). The natives of Minas de Riotinto hesitated at first to accept this game. Only towards the end of the 19th century, their passion was aroused and in the courts of the most entertaining of the RTCL schools was played under the guidance of enthusiastic British football manager. It took until 1914, was founded by the Riotinteñern a purely Spanish club correspondence, the " Río Tinto Balompié " and the RTCL built a soccer field on the eastern edge of the " Alto de la Mesa " district. The enthusiasm for football increased in the following years so that in the twenties in the meantime about 12,000 inhabitants town more than 20 football teams or clubs exist.