Andrea Bonicelli Mining Park • • Visit Bergamo

Andrea Bonicelli Mining Park

Description

Historical notes From a geological point of view, Scalve Valley belongs to the orographic complex of the Orobie PreAlps. The latter are rich in minerals, especially ores, but also barite, copper, lead, zinc and luorite.

In the past the iron mines have dramatically contributed to the subsistence of Scalve Valley inhabitants; they are located near Schilpario, along the path leading to Campelli and Vivione Passes. Presumably the exploitation of Scalve Valley mineral wealth began in 300 b.C.: some commercial documents from the 11th century recorded the trade of 5 tons of iron per year. For centuries, consortiums of small owners were in charge of the mining and quarrying for this material. At that time, mining work was extremely hard due to the inhumane conditions in which hundreds of men and teenagers had to work. When in 1930 irms such as Ilva, Breda and Falck took over, modern technologies were introduced and an intense exploitation of the mines continued until 1972, which is when the activity stopped because it had become anti-economic.

The furnaces of Schilpario and Dezzo produced an enormous amount of tools as well as arms (under the Venetians). Exhibition criteria In the Ethnographic Museum of Schilpario, in a small lateral room on the ground loor, the mining activity is documented through photos, captions and some objects to be in charge of the mining and quarrying of this material.

Andrea Botticelli Mineral Park documents the human side of the mining industry in a complete and touching way. he park, inaugurated in June 1998, is an authentic mining Museum, which was open inside the so-called 'Gaione' heading. he irst 2 kms are by train, while the subsequent 1 km is on foot. At the entrance of the gallery is Gaione, at an altitude of 1244 m., about 4 kms away from Schilpario, slightly below the mining village of Fondi, whose small church is dedicated to S. Barbara.

The itinerary project was implemented within 1 year's time by a group of local amateurs, whose 'Ski-Mine Cooperative' aimed at keeping the memories of that hard word alive. An experienced guide leads the visitors through the bowels of the mountain and explains the mining typology, mostly siderite and hematite, as well as 122 Parco Minerario Ing. Andrea Bonicelli - Schilparioquarrying and transportation methods. Some spotlights powered by a generator were put in place for the visitors; they replace the old acetylene lamps used by the miners.

Mining methods and tools were archaic: workers would dig into a heading until they found the 'vein' and would then 'cultivate' the mineral. 'Chimneys' to follow the 'vein'and 'ponors' for the discharge of the iron ore are still present. In the past, after being sorted, the ore was taken outside with some small baskets (of which some specimens have been conserved) by the so-called 'purtà¬' (12-13 year-old guys) who, being short, were very suitable to such a task. The trams for ore transportation were introduced at a later stage. The ore was piled up outside the mine and the so-called 'strusà¬' pulled it down the river with dedicated sleds ('lese'). Some trams are conserved at the entrance of the mine and inside the heading, where the original trails still lie.

The mineral wealth of Scalve Valley is conirmed by two sections, which are connected both to the mining Museum and to the ethnographic Museum, and which conserve various types of minerals, mostly of local provenance. One section is hosted by S. Marco hotel in the near Pradella hamlet, while the other one is in the historic Gregori palace (Schilpario, Padre Maj street).

The latter was a gratuitous loan by its owner to the Town Hall, with the purpose of playing host to temporary exhibitions. In both sections are some display cabinets exhibiting various minerals, from iron ores (siderite, pyrite, hematite) to copper minerals (malachite, azurite, chalcopyrite), from barite formations to aragonite crystals. This charming world of shapes and colors is a beneit to the historic and environmental heritage of Scalve Valley.

 

Brief history: the Scalve Valley is geologically located in the Orobic Pre-Alps, rich in mineral fields, especially in iron, copper, lead and zinc.The iron mines close to Schilpario, along the path connecting the Campanelli's pass to the Vivione Pass, played a key role in the past economy and life of the Scalve Valley. The exploitation of mineral weath in this area started presumably in 300 b.C. and enabled a 5 tons annual trade. In the past centuries the excavation processing was run by groups of small owners and the work conditions for the thousands of young and adult miners were very hard. Only when big companies, like Iva, Breda and Falck, succeded to small owners new and modern technologies were used, this allowing an extensive mine exploitation, which lasted until 1972, when the extraction process was declared anti-economic and was thus stopped. The two main smelters were located in Schilpario and Dezzo, which produced the raw material for the production of tools and, under the Venetian domination, of weapons. At Schilpario Ethnographic Museum many pictures, images and mining tools witness the excavation and the transportation of the mineral. At the mining Museum it is possible to experience the human life and experience in the mine. Inaugurated in 1998 and set in the Mine Park named to the eng. Andrea Bocelli, the museum is located in the 'Gaffione' tunnel, a 3km underground path, half practicable by train and half walkable. The tunnel access is at Gaffione site, at an altitude of 1244 meters, a few km away from Schilpario, close to the mine village and the St. Barbara church. The Mining Museum project was possible thanks to the support of a group of enthusiast, called 'cooperativa ski-mine', whose aim was to show the traditions and the hard work of the past generations in the mines. To visit the Mine Museum visitors need to get into the bowels of the mountain accompanied by experienced guides, who will explain the mine typology, the mineral (mostly bloodstone and siderite) excavation and transportation methods, and the raw material processing. The tunnel is mostly dark, lightened in some points by spotlights powered by a generator which replace the ancient acetylene torchs used by the miners. The excavation process was made with old methods and tools: a 'vein' was found after digging a 'sterile' tunnel and from that point the mineral started to be 'worked'. In the excavation tunnel it is still possible to see the 'chimneys', built to follow the 'vein' and the 'swallow holes' where the iron material was carried to the exit. In past times the selected materials were carried with small baskets by 12-13 years old children, named 'portà¬', engaged in this role for their small height. Only later, wagons were used to carry the materials, which were left outside the mine and then collected on proper sleds by the 'strusà¬', which brought them downriver. Some of the wagons are shown at the tunnel entrance, together with the rails. A variety of local minerals is shown in two different parts of the museum: both are located in Pradella site, one at the San Marco Hotel, the other in Schilpario (Padre Maj street) at the old Gregori Palace that the owner gave to the Townhall to be used as location for temporary exhibitions. In both sites modern boards are shown with a large range of different minerals like iron, copper, barite and aragonite crystals. This charming world of shapes and color makes the historical and environmental heritage of the Scalve Valley very valuable.


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Historical notes From a geological point of view, Scalve Valley belongs to the orographic complex of the Orobie PreAlps. The latter are rich in minerals, especially ores, but also barite, copper, lead, zinc and luorite.

In the past the iron mines have dramatically contributed to the subsistence of Scalve Valley inhabitants; they are located near Schilpario, along the path leading to Campelli and Vivione Passes. Presumably the exploitation of Scalve Valley mineral wealth began in 300 b.C.: some commercial documents from the 11th century recorded the trade of 5 tons of iron per year. For centuries, consortiums of small owners were in charge of the mining and quarrying for this material. At that time, mining work was extremely hard due to the inhumane conditions in which hundreds of men and teenagers had to work. When in 1930 irms such as Ilva, Breda and Falck took over, modern technologies were introduced and an intense exploitation of the mines continued until 1972, which is when the activity stopped because it had become anti-economic.

The furnaces of Schilpario and Dezzo produced an enormous amount of tools as well as arms (under the Venetians). Exhibition criteria In the Ethnographic Museum of Schilpario, in a small lateral room on the ground loor, the mining activity is documented through photos, captions and some objects to be in charge of the mining and quarrying of this material.

Andrea Botticelli Mineral Park documents the human side of the mining industry in a complete and touching way. he park, inaugurated in June 1998, is an authentic mining Museum, which was open inside the so-called 'Gaione' heading. he irst 2 kms are by train, while the subsequent 1 km is on foot. At the entrance of the gallery is Gaione, at an altitude of 1244 m., about 4 kms away from Schilpario, slightly below the mining village of Fondi, whose small church is dedicated to S. Barbara.

The itinerary project was implemented within 1 year's time by a group of local amateurs, whose 'Ski-Mine Cooperative' aimed at keeping the memories of that hard word alive. An experienced guide leads the visitors through the bowels of the mountain and explains the mining typology, mostly siderite and hematite, as well as 122 Parco Minerario Ing. Andrea Bonicelli - Schilparioquarrying and transportation methods. Some spotlights powered by a generator were put in place for the visitors; they replace the old acetylene lamps used by the miners.

Mining methods and tools were archaic: workers would dig into a heading until they found the 'vein' and would then 'cultivate' the mineral. 'Chimneys' to follow the 'vein'and 'ponors' for the discharge of the iron ore are still present. In the past, after being sorted, the ore was taken outside with some small baskets (of which some specimens have been conserved) by the so-called 'purtà¬' (12-13 year-old guys) who, being short, were very suitable to such a task. The trams for ore transportation were introduced at a later stage. The ore was piled up outside the mine and the so-called 'strusà¬' pulled it down the river with dedicated sleds ('lese'). Some trams are conserved at the entrance of the mine and inside the heading, where the original trails still lie.

The mineral wealth of Scalve Valley is conirmed by two sections, which are connected both to the mining Museum and to the ethnographic Museum, and which conserve various types of minerals, mostly of local provenance. One section is hosted by S. Marco hotel in the near Pradella hamlet, while the other one is in the historic Gregori palace (Schilpario, Padre Maj street).

The latter was a gratuitous loan by its owner to the Town Hall, with the purpose of playing host to temporary exhibitions. In both sections are some display cabinets exhibiting various minerals, from iron ores (siderite, pyrite, hematite) to copper minerals (malachite, azurite, chalcopyrite), from barite formations to aragonite crystals. This charming world of shapes and colors is a beneit to the historic and environmental heritage of Scalve Valley.

 

Brief history: the Scalve Valley is geologically located in the Orobic Pre-Alps, rich in mineral fields, especially in iron, copper, lead and zinc.The iron mines close to Schilpario, along the path connecting the Campanelli's pass to the Vivione Pass, played a key role in the past economy and life of the Scalve Valley. The exploitation of mineral weath in this area started presumably in 300 b.C. and enabled a 5 tons annual trade. In the past centuries the excavation processing was run by groups of small owners and the work conditions for the thousands of young and adult miners were very hard. Only when big companies, like Iva, Breda and Falck, succeded to small owners new and modern technologies were used, this allowing an extensive mine exploitation, which lasted until 1972, when the extraction process was declared anti-economic and was thus stopped. The two main smelters were located in Schilpario and Dezzo, which produced the raw material for the production of tools and, under the Venetian domination, of weapons. At Schilpario Ethnographic Museum many pictures, images and mining tools witness the excavation and the transportation of the mineral. At the mining Museum it is possible to experience the human life and experience in the mine. Inaugurated in 1998 and set in the Mine Park named to the eng. Andrea Bocelli, the museum is located in the 'Gaffione' tunnel, a 3km underground path, half practicable by train and half walkable. The tunnel access is at Gaffione site, at an altitude of 1244 meters, a few km away from Schilpario, close to the mine village and the St. Barbara church. The Mining Museum project was possible thanks to the support of a group of enthusiast, called 'cooperativa ski-mine', whose aim was to show the traditions and the hard work of the past generations in the mines. To visit the Mine Museum visitors need to get into the bowels of the mountain accompanied by experienced guides, who will explain the mine typology, the mineral (mostly bloodstone and siderite) excavation and transportation methods, and the raw material processing. The tunnel is mostly dark, lightened in some points by spotlights powered by a generator which replace the ancient acetylene torchs used by the miners. The excavation process was made with old methods and tools: a 'vein' was found after digging a 'sterile' tunnel and from that point the mineral started to be 'worked'. In the excavation tunnel it is still possible to see the 'chimneys', built to follow the 'vein' and the 'swallow holes' where the iron material was carried to the exit. In past times the selected materials were carried with small baskets by 12-13 years old children, named 'portà¬', engaged in this role for their small height. Only later, wagons were used to carry the materials, which were left outside the mine and then collected on proper sleds by the 'strusà¬', which brought them downriver. Some of the wagons are shown at the tunnel entrance, together with the rails. A variety of local minerals is shown in two different parts of the museum: both are located in Pradella site, one at the San Marco Hotel, the other in Schilpario (Padre Maj street) at the old Gregori Palace that the owner gave to the Townhall to be used as location for temporary exhibitions. In both sites modern boards are shown with a large range of different minerals like iron, copper, barite and aragonite crystals. This charming world of shapes and color makes the historical and environmental heritage of the Scalve Valley very valuable.