Spanish version


Mining Engineering College

History

In 1777, during the reign of Carlos III , the studies of Mining Engineering started in Spain.

Mining Engineering College
Mining Engineering College

Only ten year before the first Mining Academy had been created in Freiberg (Germany). With the participation of Spanish and foreign specialists the Mining Academy of Almaden was set up.

In those days it was necessary to increase the knowledge related to mining development. They started to study the quimical composition and crystallographic structure of minerals.

Some years later the studies of Physics and Chemistry were also included.

At the end of the XVIIIth century some colleges were opened in America under Spanish direction.

In 1857 the official Engineer title was established and also the subjects that had to be studied. Today the approach is still the same although more subjects have been added.

The Mining Engineering College in Madrid

Mining Engineering College
Central Patio

In 1835 the Mining Academy of Almaden was transferred to Madrid. It was located in different places until it came to its current site at Rios Rosas street 21.

The architect of the building was Ricardo Velazquez Bosco and decorated by Daniel Zuloaga. Ricardo Velazquez is also the responsible for the exhibition palace at the Retiro Park (Palacio Velazquez) and the Ministry of Agriculture.

The college has four buildings and a foundation.

The first building is the original one and has two floors and basement. Here is the historical library, the alumni library, Museum of Mineralogy and Paleontology, the big main patio, the cloister and several offices and departments of the college.

In the second building there are offices, classrooms, the chapel and the assembly hall.

Mining Engineering College
Assembly Hall

The third building is only used for activities of the college, i.e. classrooms and professorship rooms.

The Gomez Pardo Foundation is located at Alenza street in an independent building. Its objectives are the award of scholarships and the promotion of investigation and activities, among others.

Historic Building

In the historic building there is the Museo Historico Minero Don Felipe de Borbón y Grecia (Historic Mining Museum).

Granite was used on the basement, limestone on the columns and bricks on the façade. There are many allegorical figures made by Barron y Vallcells showing miners with their tools or mythological images.

The ceramic decoration was made by Zuloaga after drawings by Manuel Dominguez. It

Mining Engineering College
Minerals

shows the different ways of extracting minerals, mineral waters and their use.

From Rios Rosas street one has direct access to the central patio through a lobby where there is also the staircase that leads to the upper floor. At the main entrance door are two bronze statues of Guillermo Schulz and Luis de la Escosura , directors of the college. They were made in 1925 by Fructuoso Orduna Lafuente .

In the basement are several laboratories, diningrooms, etc.

The central patio is surrounded by a gallery.

On the upper floor there is another gallery which opens onto the patio.

On this floor is the cloister with an import art noveau lamp and big glass stained windows. There is also the students' library.

Here is the Historic Library and the Mineral and Fossil Museum.

Mining Engineering College
Library

The building has a tower on each corner. These towers have two floors with wide rooms and balconies.


Historic Library

It does not only contain works related to minery, mettalurgy, etc. but also geographic atlases, books about botany, laws, etc. One of the most important books is " De Re Metallica " by Georg Agricola. It is from the XVIth century and is considered as the most important work about mining production. Currently all works are being classified.


Mining and Fosill Museum D. Felipe de Borbon y Grecia

It has a series of glass cabinets on the walls trying to maintain the image of a natural

Mining Engineering College
Mine

history deparment.

One area is dedicated to minerals since the XVIIIth century. Many of them come from main mining productions of the XIXth and XXth century, most of them inactive today.

Some of the samples are unique. They are being cataloguized.

The area dedicated to fossils has, above all, samples from one collection bought to Germany in the beginning of the XXth century. Those belonging to frogs are very interesting as one can see the outline of the bones and also of their body.

There has always been a strong connection between mining and fossils as they used to be found in the mining excavations.

The museum has an historical character due to the age of its collections and also an educational aspect.

Mining Engineering College
Entrance to the mine

The Mine

With an educational aim, in 1963, a mine was built in the college garden. It is called the experimental mine " Marcelo Jorissen ", as he promoted its creation while being the director of the college.

It reproduces a gallery and the shaft of a coal mine.

A steep stair gives access to a gallery 50m long and 18m deep. It shows the main installations of a real mine.

The main characteristics are the access, lighting, ventilation and the tubbing.

There are two pipes, one for compressed air and the other one for water.

A wooden door separates the different areas of the mine in case of fire and also to level the pressure on both sides. To make this the door has a little opening that allows the air flow.

One of the most interesting items in the mine is a sort of arch made by miners and called

Mining Engineering College
Monthly Mineral Market held on the 1rst Sunday

“wood in squares”.

The mine can be visited the first Sunday of each months when the monthly mineral market is held in the main hall.

Sources:

El Museo Histórico Minero Don Felipe de Borbón y Grecia, autor Benjamín Calvo Pérez, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Minas de Madrid, 2002

Photographies: (c) Rafael Castañeda

 

 

@Copyright 2008, 2009 Mª Dolores Diehl Busch. All rights reserved.
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