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  • Machinery of the Mining Museum, Massa Marittima.zoom in altra finestra
  • Machinery of the Mining Museum, Massa Marittima.zoom in altra finestra

Museo della Miniera [Mining Museum]

As nineteenth-century historian and naturalist Emanuele Repetti writes, the city of Massa Marittima can be considered the "mineralogical warehouse of Tuscany": its copper and silver mines won it the epithet of "metalliferous". Among the varyingly large veins of metals that run through its hills, including manganese, amphibole, silver, copper and zinc, the considerable quantities of iron, argentiferous lead and sulphuretted mercury extracted from its quarries have through time supplied the smelting furnaces of Follonica.

Sited in the air-raid shelters used during World War II, the Mining Museum is the faithful reconstruction of a mine with its various working environments: the three natural and manmade galleries readapted to host the Museum, present the different typologies of framework supporting the earthen vaults, and the various mining techniques employed. Furthermore, the final segment of the itinerary exhibits mineral samples from the territory of Massa Marittima.

The collection dates to the 20th century and includes miners’ work tools (hand drills, compressors, rotary drill bits), and the transport means for the mineral and miners (little trains with wagons, electric locomotives). Objects tied to the miners’ daily lives (helmets, baskets, etc.) are also on show.

Along with the Museum of Mining Art and History, the Mining Museum belongs to the Museum System of Massa Marittima, created by the Communal Administration and run by the Cooperativa Colline Metallifere.


Texts by Stefania Mangia

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 30/gen/2008