Visit to Fontao Mining Village
Are you curious about how the miners lived half a century ago? If the answer is yes, you’ll want to visit it. It is a unique experience in which to discover what life was like for the inhabitants of a town designed and built for workers of mining in the area.
It opened in 1956 and only lived there until 1974, when the last open-air gap was closed. The town is full, and besides the homes of the workers, it included various complementary facilities such as a football field, a school, houses for teachers, a cinema and a church.
The Fontao Mining Village is rehabilitated to welcome visitors and show what life was like for the people who lived there. The restoration works in town of Vila de Cruces, enabling consisted of several of the buildings that made up the village as a museum. Buildings for exhibition are the old chapel, and schools, fully renovated and equipped in 2012. It has an auditorium with capacity of 170 seats, which occupies the premises of the former cinema, which also has a cafe and shop. The facilities are wheelchair accessible and have a large garden area where the Outdoor Museum is located with large pieces that can´t be displayed inside the buildings.
The British were the first that explored this mine, in the second half of the nineteenth. The French came after. In 1934 the exploitation of tin and tungsten was maintained during the Civil War and start a strong expansion in global demand for tungsten for military use is restored. With the drop in prices in late 1960’s began the decline of Fontao, which would eventually close in 1963. It was inhabited until 1974.
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