Mercury extraction in Almadén and Idrija (World Heritage)

World Heritage Sites (N) and World Heritage Sites (K)

  • Škocjan karst caves (N; 1988)
  • Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps (K; 2011)
  • Historic sites of mercury extraction: Almadén and Idrija (K; 2012)
  • Old beech forests and primeval beech forests in the Dinaric Mountains (N; 2017)

Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps (World Heritage)

The cross-border world heritage of the 111 selected prehistoric sites in six Alpine countries includes 18 pile-building sites on Lake Constance, in Upper Swabia, south of Augsburg and on Lake Starnberg. They give insights into the everyday world of people in the period from approx. 5000 to 3000 BC. Chr.

Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps: facts

Official title: Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps
Cultural monument: 111 small archaeological sites in the area of ​​the Alps in six countries with pile dwellings and relics in river, moor and lake landscapes from the time from 4300 to 800 BC. Chr.; including 56 pile construction sites in Switzerland and 18 in Germany on Lake Constance, in Upper Swabia, near Augsburg and on Lake Starnberg; early archaeological evidence of agriculture, animal husbandry and metalworking preserved in the water as well as documents of life in the prehistoric times of the Neolithic and Bronze Age; Finds of dugout canoes, metal discs, wheels and simple wagons from the time of 3400 BC. And of textiles 3000 BC. Dated to the 2nd century BC, oldest house floor plan from Lake Constance (3915 BC)
Continent: Europe
Country: Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia
Location: Southern Germany, Western and Northern Switzerland, French Alps, Northern Italy, Carinthia, Salzburg, Ljubljana
Appointment: 2011
Meaning: Well-preserved and diverse archaeological sites with the possibility of a unique insight into prehistoric times and early agricultural cultures; outstanding documents for understanding the developments in the Neolithic phase and the Bronze Age in Europe; exceptional sources for the study of agrarian communities and their interaction with the environment in the alpine areas

Mercury extraction in Almadén and Idrija (World Heritage)

The mercury mines represent the history of mercury mining from ancient times (Almadén) and the 15th century until today. The Retamar castle ruins are reminiscent of the Moorish phase of mercury extraction.

Mercury extraction in Almadén and Idrija: facts

Official title: Historic sites of mercury mining: Almadén and Idrija
Cultural monument: In the 1990s, the former largest mercury mines in the world in Almadén (Spain) and Idrija (Slovenia) were closed; Almadén: mining of cinnabar since antiquity and the unhealthy extraction of mercury from it, hence the use of convicts and slaves until 1801; In addition to the pits and equipment for the extraction of the cinnabar ore, a large number of traditional and religious buildings such as B. Retamar Castle; Idrija: Mercury mining in the last approx. 700 km long tunnel system since 1490, in addition to conveyor systems and water pumps, extensive infrastructure with shops, miners’ accommodation and theaters; mainly shipping of the mercury to America for gold and silver mining
Continent: Europe
Country: Slovenia, Spain
Location: Almadén, Castilla-La Mancha region, central Spain; Idrija, Goriška region, western Slovenia
Appointment: 2012
Meaning: Unique documentation of the socio-technical system of metal mining and its effects in both past and modern times; exceptional testimonials for the international mercury extraction and trade as well as for the related economic exchange between Europe and America

Mercury extraction in Almadén and Idrija (World Heritage)