The Disused Gold Mine at Rodalquilar is a bit of a strange place. It was a thriving workplace until 1966 when it was mainly shut down, but it was worked more recently with new methods until 1990 ish, when it closed for good. Gold had been mined here for over a hundred years, and certainly seemed an unusual departure from most industries in the area. The closure adversely affected the town with workers moving away to seek more work. Therefore, as you drive towards the town and follow the metal sign of the miner to take the left fork, you will drive past a half ghost town of empty and falling down houses. Looks a bit sad, really. However, over the other side of the town, new homes have now been built and driving through that area you’ll see bars and little places that have sprung up to give the town new purpose.
Visitors are still drawn to see the gold mine itself which is situated with its back to the hills. My first impression was that everything is sand coloured! All the machinery has long gone, along with metal hand rails, windows, doors and anything that could have been of value. Consequently, it looks a bit dangerous, but as long as you are sure footed I’m sure you’ll be fine, but personally I wouldn’t bring younger children here. No safeguards and plenty of steep edges! Looking at the large square buildings you can still see feint numbers or letters painted up there, but that’s nothing to do with the working mine. Film production companies are fond of Almeria, and this site is yet another one that provided cheap backdrops for various film sets over the years. Sergio Leone and Steven Spielberg have used this site plus many others, transforming them to suit various prison, castle and factory set requirements. So, film buff or general tourist, this place is interesting to explore.....just be careful as you walk about! There is no sun shelter at all, and the town’s bars follow siesta time, so plan your visit early morning or very late afternoon and don’t forget to take water with you.
BTW, this is a truly disused place and not a managed site in any way. It’s gradually decaying, which is why I advise caution. There are no guided tours available, signs or information up, so google it a bit before you go, and you’ll get more out of your visit. Enjoy!
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