Museum of Mines of Mercury Monte Amiata, Santa Fiora, Italy

The Museum of Mines of Mercury Monte Amiata (Museo delle miniere di mercurio del Monte Amiata), has been realized to reflect the history of the mines and the sacrifices made by the miners, but also to make known the geology of Mount Amiata.

The Museum of Mercury Mines of Mount Amiata is a museum located in the historic center of Santa Fiora (GR), inside the Sforza Cesarini Palace

Mount Amiata is the largest of the lava domes in the Amiata lava dome complex located about 20 km northwest of Lake Bolsena in the southern Tuscany region of Italy.

The Mercury Mining Museum is located on the ground floor of Palazzo Sforza Cesarini, in Piazza Garibaldi, in the premises that once housed the kitchens and service rooms of the noble owners. The palace was built around 1575 in the place where the ” The original Aldobrandesca fortress of Santa Fiora, and is characterized by stone wall structures, where rectangular windows open, and on the ground floor a series of round arch doors In the same building is also hosted the Commune

The museum is divided into six rooms furnished with minerals, objects and work tools, and with twenty-two panels that illustrate and deepen a series of historical, technical, anthropological and social themes related to the world of mines on Mount Amiata

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The first hall (panels 1-4), where the ticket office and the bookshop are located, illustrates the territory of Mount Amiata where the mining industry developed, with geological papers and a plastic that reproduces the mining sites of the Cinnabar Another panel gives the visitor a chronological excursus on the extractive history, dating back to prehistoric times and Etruscan civilization: exhibits are found in the archaeological excavations, such as picks, axes and mazes, witnessing that the fields were known since III Millennium BC (ancient traces of mining have been found near the mines of Cornacchino, Cortevecchia, Siele, Solforate and Morone)

The second room (panels 5-9) is intended to document the evolution of mining techniques and tools used in mine work: it is thus about cultivation systems (straight gradient system, horizontal slice system, slices for slices Horizontal descending, under-floor or long-edged); Of the works of abbattimento, filling, armament, ventilation and illumination; (Miners, maneuverers, wagons, locomotives, buffers and arganists, street, pipe, sampler, fire engine, mechanic, filler, drill, pallet) Other panels continue the chronological itinerary Started in the previous hall illustrating the history of the Amateur mines from the Middle Ages to modern times

The third room (panels 10-11) is dedicated to the extraction of cinnabar and the women and children who were assigned to select the mineral to be sent to the kilns. It also serves as a video room – an interesting documentary about mines and amine Between the 19th and the 20th centuries – and numerous tools of the miner’s craft are exhibited: the chopper, the chisel saw, the ax, the drill hammer, the helmets, the wagons’ medals, the shovel, the medalists of the workers , The acetylene lamp, the dust mask, the compressed air mask and many others From this room you access to another small room where a descendant with a gallery was set up, to faithfully reconstruct an internal mine environment

The fourth (panels 12-14) and the fifth room (panels 15-20), both located on the upper floor, deepen the physical-chemical characteristics of mercury, the economic influence of mercury on the market (production, sale) To illustrate the consequences of mine work in miners’ lives, such as landslides, explosions, but also diseases (hydrosarism, noise hypoacusia, silicosis, initially called “cornacchite”), and the social environment of trade unions, strikes and Struggles for the protection of workers Lastly, the visit comes to an end with contemporary history: five panels tell about closure of mines and reclamation and environmental recovery implemented to enhance mining sites In 2008, a significant collection of minerals , Donated to the museum by Maria Cappelletti, in memory of her husband, Virio Boschini; From 2011 there are also the collections of Simone Beccari and Adorno Franceschelli From here also access to the multimedia laboratories

The sixth hall (panels 21-22) is a small corridor located on the ground floor next to the ticket office. The last two panels offer the visitor a complete list of amateur mines with all historical and geographical data: the Cornacchino mine ( Castell’Azzara), active from 1872 to 1921; The mine of Reto or Montebuono (Sorano), 1886-1929; The mine of the Schwarzenberg (Castell’Azzara), 1852-1940; The Abein mine, or Argus (Piancastagnaio), 1917-1982; The Morone mine (Castell’Azzara), 1850-1982; The mine of Abbadia San Salvatore, 1847-1982; The Pietrineri mine or Bagni San Filippo (Castiglione d’Orcia), 1902-1979; The Bagnore mine (Santa Fiora-Arcidosso), 1920-1976; The mine of Cortevecchia (Semproniano), 1898-1971; The Cerreto Piano mine (Scansano), 1898-1971; The mine of Monte Labbro or Banditella (Arcidosso-Santa Fiora-Roccalbegna), 1919-1976; The Siele mine (Castell’Azzara-Piancastagnaio), 1846-1982; The Solforate mine (Piancastagnaio), 1883-1982

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