Asturias has its own museum dedicated to gold. The Gold Museum of Asturias (MOA) is a unique space to know in detail the geology of gold, its origin, the types of deposits, deposits of the world and extraction techniques.
The museum is located in the town of Navelgas, council of Tineo, and it also makes a good review of ancient and religious stories related to the search for gold and the fierce motivation of entire peoples to make it their own. A fascinating trip until the Asturian and Roman, including legends of our time referring to power struggles, rites and symbols associated with the golden metal.
The equipment is located in the Capalleja house and has three floors. The ground floor serves as reception and introduces us to the contents of the museum, it also includes a souvenir shop and multipurpose room for conferences, talks and screenings.
The first floor is dedicated to gold as a mineral and explains how metal is formed from the first. Through niches, replicas of different objects of significant significance are exhibited throughout history, and in a chronogram the whole history of gold is explained, from the Neolithic to our days. Here are collected all the relevant dates and characters from ancient Egypt, to John Sutter and the "fever" of California or South Africa.
The second floor is dedicated specifically to the history of gold in Navelgas. You can see in detail a topographic model of the area in which the main areas of extraction during the Roman period and the tourist routes associated with them are indicated. In this plant also recreates a channel of water conduction excavated in the rock, similar to those used by the Romans. An adjoining space explains the sport of gold batting. For this, a section of the Navelgas River and different tools to extract the gold are represented.
The Gold Valley
The hitting activity reached in Navelgas reaches a high significance given that the town hosts national, European and world championships of this sport. The visitor to the museum can also try his expertise in the Gold Batting Workshop, an essential activity to complete the visit and empathize with the ancient gold bursars.
In the vicinity of the museum, it can be done a journey following the tracks of the Roman exploitations. The territory near the town of Navelgas is known as "the Gold Valley", given the abundance of gold deposits. The Navelgas mines have the particularity of being part of a complex exploited by means of underground trenches, still visible. The canals and laundries of the Lavadoira and Santiago de Cerredo ore, the large farms of the Sierra de L´Ouro, between Navelgas and Naraval or the channels and deposits of the “Presa del Moro”, attest to the efforts made to obtain of the precious metal.
There is evidence of the search for gold in these lands since the Castres age of the Astures. The settlement of the Roman Empire allows us to know the valley as we know it now. They were the ones who built several mines, moving millions of tons of rock and earth that were washed with the waters of streams and rivers that were diverted specifically for this purpose.
At the end of the 19th century, the beginning of the 20th, the Navelgas mines were exploited by a group of Englishmen, subsequently created Asturian Aurífera Society that between 1950 and 1956 again exploited these mines.
Photos provided by the Tineo Gold Museum.
Gold Museum Hours
TUESDAY AFTERNOON TO SUNDAY MORNING from 11 a.m. to 14 p.m. and from 16 p.m. to 19 p.m.
Sunday afternoon, Monday and Tuesday morning: closed.
Third weekend of each month: closed. There may be changes * always contact the museum beforehand.
Gold Museum Rates
· Admission to the general public: €2,50.
· Reduced ticket: €1,50
– Over 3 years and under 12.
– Over 65 years.
– Groups of more than 15 people.
– Travel agencies and tour operators.
· Free entrance:
– Children 0 – 3 years.
– Every Wednesday of the year.
Source: Tineo Gold Museum.
Barrio San Nicolás, s / n
33873 Navelgas, Tineo
Contact number: 985 80 60 18
The locality of Navelgas, in the western interior of Asturias, council of Tineo, is 100 Kms. Of Oviedo.
Navelgas can be accessed from the Interior or along the coast:
Interior / Tineo: From Oviedo, Gijón and Avilés to La Espina (N-634). Continue direction Tineo (AS-216), and take Bárcena de Monasterio diversion (AS-217) where we find the detour to Navelgas (AS-219).
Coast / Luarca: From Oviedo, Gijón and Avilés to A Coruña for the N-632, N-634 or E-70. When arriving at the center of Luarca, take AS-219 direction Pola de Allande until you reach Navelgas.
Trip to the mines: Leaving Navelgas in the direction of Luarca, before reaching the gas station, we turn off to the right following the track that leads to a recreational area and, later, to the bowling alley. On both sides there are two trails, and we have to take the one on the right hand to start the climb to the old farm. From there, we continue along the path to visit the rest of the Roman mines, as well as ethnographic remains present along the way.
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com