First of all, let me say thank you very much for all of yesterday’s well-wishing comments. I really appreciate your recognition and your loyalty. Thank you. I’ll try to keep it going for a little longer. Thankfully, Mallorca never ceases to enthrall me. It looks like no trouble for the island to captivate me, and perhaps you too, for many more blog entries to come.
Having said that, what do you think I show you today? Looks perhaps like a pozo, a water well, don’t you think?
A pozo it is but, a pozo de mina. It’s the entrance of a mina de carbón (coal mine) in the Sa Firella district of the Felanitx area. This particular mine (photo above) was excavated to a depth of only about 30 or 40 metres and was never exploited. There are about 11 mines in the Sa Firella district of which 7 or 8 were exploited during the Fourties and Fifties of the 20th century, including the one shown below (photo centre). Coal mining began in Mallorca in about 1822 in the Binissalem area and, on a more professional level, after 1837/38 with the arrival of Dutchman Paul Bouvy Schorenberg. At the end of the 19th century, better coal of superior quality was then imported from England and, dare I say, Wales. With the beginning of World War I, England needed their own coal and thus, Mallorca had to revive their own mining efforts. The Spanish Guerra Civil and later, World War II, made it even more necessary to increase Spanish domestic coal mining, including mining here in Mallorca as well as in Menorca, the neighbouring island.
After the Spanish Civil War, young men could enlist for coal digging as an alternative to the compulsory military service as during the atrocities many lives had been lost including a large number of males. The mines of Sa Firella were discontinued in the late Nineteen-Sixties.
Coal in the Sa Firella mines would have been hauled up with a scuttle or container similar to the one shown below (photo bottom). The photo was taken in 2009 by Biel Fiol at the coal mine of Santa Catalina in Alaró (Mallorca). Muchas gracias.
The photos (top and centre) were taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 10th, 2011. The time was 19:03:57 and 19:38:43, respectively. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of mti-minas-baleares.blogspot.com and the photographer.