Las Medulas Roman Gold Mine in El Bierzo, Castilla y Leon, Spain
Roman Gold I
More than 2000 years ago the Romans wrought Spain’s largest man-made ecological disaster in the mountains of northwestern Castilla y Leon – Las Medulas. Streams and rivers were rerouted, aqueducts were built, and water channels cut into the solid rock to wash away whole mountainsides just to retrieve the gold they hid.
The mining left an uninhabitable moonscape that, today, is stunningly beautiful! The erosion and re-greening over the centuries created an otherworldly landscape recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. From the viewing platform, the view out over the majestic but humbled mountains is dramatic, with hiking trails through the water tunnels and along the aqueducts just begging to be followed.