SPAIN  |  León, Spain Travel Guide
Sunday, March 7, 2021
4 Of 4

Las Médulas

Las Médulas, Spain (cc)

Las Médulas

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Las Médulas is a dramatic landscape of orange-tinted cliffs, cavities and spires carved in the search for gold by Roman slaves over 2,000 years ago. Scattered in the environs are the interesting ruins of castros, fortified settlements centered around a circular home built by the native Asturs to protect themselves and defend their gold as early as the Bronze Age. The Asturs were a fiercely barbaric tribal race and, along with the neighboring Cantabros, were the last inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula to be subdued by the Romans in battles that occurred sometime around 25 BC. The Roman historian Florus described the aftermath: “Augustus ordered that the land be mined. Thus, toiling away under the earth, the Asturs came to discover their own riches in seeking them for the benefit of others.” In the centuries to follow, the site was highly productive and recognized as the Roman Empire’s largest gold mine in Hispania. Then in the third century AD, for reasons still not understood, the Romans abruptly ceased their mining activities in the area.

Las Médulas is 20 km (12.5 miles) southwest of Ponferrada in León’s easternmost district of El Bierzo. For greater insight into the area, it’s worth stopping first at the Aula Arqueológica, a visitors’ center with informative models and displays located in the small town of Las Médulas. From Ponferrada, take the N-VI west and at La Barosa turn south on the N-536. At Carucedo turn off at the signs for Las Médulas.

Last updated March 20, 2012
Posted in   Spain  |  León
No votes yet
Explore the Destination
Amenities and Resources
Trending Themes:

Guides to Popular Ski Resorts

  • Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More

  • Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More

  • Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More

  • Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More

  • Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More

  • St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More

  • Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More

  • St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More

  • Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More


Copyright © 2010-2013 Indian Chief Travel Guides. Images tagged as (cc) are licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license.