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Las Médulas
UNESCO World Heritage site
Panorámica de Las Médulas.jpg
Panoramic view of Las Médulas
Location Province of León, Castile and León, Spain
Includes
  1. Zone principal de la mina de oro de Las Médulas
  2. Estéiles de la Balouta
  3. Estéiles de Valdebría
  4. Estéiles de Yeres
Criteria Cultural: (i), (ii), (iii), (iv)
Reference 803
Inscription 1997 (21st Session)
Area 2,208.2 ha (5,457 acres)
Coordinates 42°28′9.8″N 6°46′14.7″W / 42.469389°N 6.77075°W / 42.469389; -6.77075Coordinates: 42°28′9.8″N 6°46′14.7″W / 42.469389°N 6.77075°W / 42.469389; -6.77075

Las Médulas (As Médulas or As Meduas in Galician language) is a historical site near the town of Ponferrada, Spain. It used to be the most important gold mine in the Roman Empire. In order to remove the gold, the Romans washed away an entire mountain. From the 2nd to the 4th century AD the Romans used slaves to mine about 900 tons of gold. It left a series of rock pinnacles, gullies, caves and tunnels. Las Médulas is listed by the UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites.


  • Lewis, P. R. and G. D. B. Jones, Roman gold-mining in north-west Spain, Journal of Roman Studies 60 (1970): 169-85
  • Jones, R. F. J. and Bird, D. G., Roman gold-mining in north-west Spain, II: Workings on the Rio Duerna, Journal of Roman Studies 62 (1972): 59-74.
  • Domergue, C. and Hérail, G., Conditions de gisement et exploitation antique à Las Médulas (León, Espagne) in L'or dans l'antiquité: de la mine à l'objet, B. Cauuet, ed., Aquitania Supplement, 9 (Bordeaux 1999): 93-116.
  • Journeys Through European Landscapes/Voyages dans les Paysages Européens. COST-ESF, Ponferrada: 101-104.


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