The presence of copper in the mountains of Moeche and Cerdido has been known since the end of the 19th century, a mining activity that did not go unnoticed by the local economy until the middle of the 20th century, when the mines were closed down.
Today, different manifestations of the intense mining activity are scattered throughout these two towns, as you can see mine shafts, trenches and the remains of different installations.
In Mina Piquito – located in Santa Cruz, Moeche – and in Mina Maruxa – A Barqueira, Cerdido – you can see stalactites and stalagmites of blue, green and white colours, produced by the action of water filtering down from higher levels and also by the presence of copper particles. Signs of sulphur can also be found in the old galleries.
The phenomenon that is taking place in the cavities of the old mines – called “speleothem” – is the most important in the northwest of the peninsula and also one of the most attractive in the whole area of the Geopark project. In Cerdido we also find the As Cabanas calcination chimney, a jewel from the beginning of the 20th century, or the remains of a bridge for mine carts in Vilazanche.
Can I visit it?: The mines of A Barqueira are not accessible due to safety reasons, so they cannot be visited. You can see the As Cabanas chimney at any time. Mina Piquito can be accessed by guided tours organised by Moeche Town Council during the summer, as the rest of the year the mine is completely flooded. Admission is limited to a maximum of 10 people per group.
Further information: The route through Mina Piquito and the exterior of the mines of A Barqueira can be combined with a visit to the castle of Moeche, the Fraga dos Casás and, if there is an opportunity, an itinerary through the quarries of Toelo or “Moeche stone”, present in the popular and religious architecture of the whole area as a constructive or ornamental element.