Minas de plata de Horcajuelo
Point of departure:
Horcajuelo de la Sierra. Crossing C/ Pozas with White Way.
This simple route leads us to the old silver mines of Horcajuelo de la Sierra. From the mines you get a beautiful panorama of the villages of Horcajuelo, Prádena and the Sierra de la Dehesilla.
The San Francisco Mine, as they were called the silver mines of Horcajuelo, began to be exploited in the mid-19th century. The mine has been active since 1840 until the last decades of that same century, having a period of heyday since 1856 to 1860. Located at 1500 m altitude on the slope of the Hill of the Porrilla, its voluminous escombreras are visible from the valley. In the mining journal "The Torch" (1857), it was written that "the San Francisco mine has cut a line containing sour silver, dark red silver and silver chlorides, presenting itself also native silver”.
We started our trek in Horcajuelo, heading down the main street to the north. Before we get to the football field, we take the path that goes to our right. To the left of the road and as we ascend gently under the shade of ash and oak, we can see orchard areas. After a cancellation, we enter a clearer area and walk along a dry stone wall, until you get to a junction, where we can see an indicator arrow. The path we're joining climbs sharply, until we reach an area where large schist peeps are nodded where the ascent softens. A little further on, the road turns to the hillside, which we're skirting until we get to the mine.
In the area you can still see the mouthmin, excavated in rock in the main line. Since safety within mines is not guaranteed, you shouldn't get into them. In the vicinity of the mouthmin we will find ancient stone buildings that served as a warehouse, as well as a flooded well and the escombreras. In the master well of Horcajuelo, despite the primitive tools reached 60 m deep.
The turn is made by heading in front of the mouthmin following a paths that descends to the hill, we cross the big creek and meet again with the way up, to which we joined to return to Horcajuelo.