Las Médulas at El Bierzo in León
I had been told that The Marrows It has very different landscapes according to the time of the year, but to visit for the first time these places of the Bierzo leonese I chose to do it at the end of autumn ... and they seemed to me to be of impressive beauty.
I don't know if they are prettier at another time, I almost doubt it, but the truth is that Las Médulas in autumn They have a very special appeal.
It is the time when the coppery colors of the peaks and mounds are combined with the symphony of colors of the trees that have already lost almost all their leaves.
Autumnal landscapes in Las Médules in El Bierzo in León
What are Las Médulas?
When you knowwhat are Las Médulas, they will be even more surprising and you will understand the reason why they qualify ascultural landscape.
The first thing you need to know is thatThe Marrows it was an oldgoldmine which was exploited by theRoman empire for over 2,000 years.
At that time, after their struggles with the Asturians that inhabited this area, the Romans discovered that there was gold in the area, which was being extracted and used by the conquered tribes.
Autumnal landscapes in Las Médules in El Bierzo in León
How Las Médulas were formed
For the exploitation of gold that was inside the mountains, the Romans decided to use the method known asMontium Ruin, which meant that the mountains literally fell apart and then collected the filtered gold.
This method involved creating a channel network of more than 100 kilometers, largely excavated in the rocks, which allowed to bring water from mountains of higher height and then store them on top of the mountains that were to be exploited.
In these galleries were created with no exit and, finally, the water was introduced into a thrombus, so that the compression of the trapped air literally exploded the mountain.
The clay and water mass was washed in wooden channels, and filtered with heather branches to retain the gold.
They also separated the boulders calledyou died, samples of which you can still see in heaps during your visit toThe Marrows.
This gold exploitation process was carried out for 200 years, and it is known that over 5,000 kilos of gold were recovered throughout the period, with an estimated volume of land removed from more than one hundred million cubic meters.
The volume of materials removed was so great that its accumulation at the end of the valley came to plug the natural water outlets and led to the formation of the currentCarucedo Lake.
It is hard to think that where we now see curious clay rock formations calledpicachos, only 2,000 years ago were mountains as high as those that surround them.
How to visit Las Médulas
The visit of Las Médulas It has two different slopes: on the one hand, the walk along the paths that run inside these places.
Departure of a water gallery in Las Médulas in the Bierzo Leon
It is advisable to do it with a guided visit, which will allow you to discover how it is possible for man to exploit in such a peculiar way these ancient gold mines.
This tour if you do in autumn It will offer you a great symphony of warm colors.
It is a journey of less than three kilometers along the so-called Path of the Valiñas, passing through the points of greatest interest, such as the operating galleries of The Cuovona Y The enchanted.
Centennial chestnuts in Las Médulas
To highlight that one of the surprises that your walk will bring you is to be able to see the spectacular and twisted trunks of thecentennial chestnuts that extend through this ancient gold mine of the Romans.
During their exploitation, they not only substantially modified the natural environment, but also generated new ecosystems, especially with the planting of chestnut manors.
Chestnuts in Las Médulas in the Leonier Bierzo
These trees were replacing the presence by then majority of holm oaks with the objective of serving as food for the thousands of Asturian workers and the Romans themselves.
Likewise, these chestnuts have served over the centuries so that their wood was used in construction by the inhabitants of this region of Leon.
At present, if you are looking for places to enjoy the charm of a chestnut forest, in The Marrows You have a good alternative.
During your walk along the paths that run between the different rocky peaks ofThe Marrows, you will go through various wooded areas where the kings are thebig chestnut, with some copies that are more than 600 years old.
Obviously, the chestnut forest landscapes They change radically from one time of the year to another.
Since my most recent trip to Bierzo It was in autumn, I could see the chestnut trees already almost completely naked from their lush vegetation.
Panoramas of Las Médulas from the Orellán viewpoint
That has allowed me to verify the great network of its branches but, above all, to give free rein to the imagination before the rugged and curious forms of its spectacular trunks, in an environment typical of a thriller.
But one way to start the visit may be See the panoramic views of Las Médulas from the Orellán viewpoint.
There you will see all this natural landscape as a whole, and with its greatest autumnal splendor; or if you prefer, you can leave it for the end, after having traveled this peculiar place, but you can't leave Las Médulas without going up to Orellán.
Guided tours in Las Médulas
You have several options of guided tours in Las Médulas, either in a 4 × 4 vehicle or in a minibus, of which here you have all the information.
Autumnal landscapes in Las Médulas in the Leonier Bierzo
Las Médulas Interpretation Center Hours
For their part, the visiting hours of Las Médulas Interpretation Center They are the whole year from 11 to 14 hours and in the afternoons in variable hours according to the time.
Of course, from November to February the schedule is only in the morning from 10.45 to 15 hours.
Finally, if you decide to make a getaway for discover Las Médulas, I advise you to stay in the rural hotel Villa Mencía where my friends Eve Y Mariano They will make your stay a very pleasant experience.
Does a 9.1 score guarantee you booking.com for Villa Mencía?