|Location:||Guanajuato city, 7km to the north of Guanajuato, near Church of Valenciana. Sierra Madre.|
|Open:||All year daily 9-17. [????]|
|Fee:||Adults USD 1. [????]|
|Address:||Valenciana Mine, Santa Fe Mine Engineering Cooperative, Tel: +52-, Fax: +52-,|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1557||mine opened by the Spanish Don Diego de Valencia.|
|1750||silver vein discovered.|
|1760||reopened by Don Antonio de Obregón y Alcocer.|
|1988||Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines inscribed into the UNESCO WHL.|
The Valenciana Mine is the most productive mine in the city Guanajuato, and it is still in operation. Around 1900 this mine produced two-thirds of all the silver from Guanajuato. The Valenciana Mine Entrance next to the Church of Valenciana is now a show mine. It shows the mining conditions during the viceroyalty period.
A second mine nearby is the Experimental Mine El Nopal. Around 1868 exploratory work began on this mine, with the objective of exploring and exploiting the silver veins at El Nopal. Today it is also used as a show mine.
A third part of the mine is also open to the public. The San Ramon Mineshaft is a former ancillary shaft of the Valenciana mine. Today it is a restaurant and bar with a small mining museum on the first floor.
There is not much information about the show mine on the web and guidebooks either remove the entry or describe it as not worth the visit. One of the reasons is the fact that there is no information in English, and the tours are held by miners which speak only Mexican. So foreign tourists have a hard time when they visit the mine. Also, as a working time, it seems to be open only on certain days. We could not find out which days this are, but we guess a site which is not open daily is not very interesting for foreign tourists.
The Valenciana Silver Mines was once the richest in the world. The mine is surrounded by a high wall with triangular projections on top, said to symbolise the crown of the King of Spain. The huge stone walls on the hillside, supported by enormous buttresses, have created an artificial level surface from spoil excavated higher up the hill. The mine is still working and with care you can walk around. Local miners act as guides and will show you where gold and silver are still being extracted.
Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.