Bagnada mining museum

by Carmen Mitta

Miners in the 60s.

The Bagnada Mine Museum was created to bring to light and safeguard a heritage, which was in the process of disappearing under the pressure of today's culture.

The restoration of an environment, which had for many years been protagonist in the Val Malenco, enables us to reflect on the historic and social significance which had permeated the valley culture for over two ccenturies. And it must not be forgotten.

The idea to salvage and enhance Bagnada had a double objective: on the one hand, it wanted to remind local communities of the past, which had contributed to establishing the identity of the Valley. Secondly, it wanted to inform the visitor of this unusual history, which can still be found today in many aspects of the economic and social life in the territory.

A visit to the mine is not merely a journey into the bowels of the earth. It is a pretext to discover the complex stories of the area and their protagonists, its settlements, the ways in which man has adapted to the environment, and the mindful, well-balanced exploitation of the natural resources.

Guided tour

Tour of the mine; preparation and explanations.

Your visit to the Museum is divided into three separate parts: a guided tour through the tunnels of the mine, the museum of minerals, with displays of objects of daily work, and The Museum of Minerology in Lanzada, which houses the main minerals from the Val Malenco.

The mine has 9 different levels, 4 of which can be visited. There are diffferent types of tunnels, depending on their use: worked veins, service tunnels, shafts, communication tunnels, tunnels and vacuums to search for sterile material.

There is also the litte storeroom, used to keep the explosives and to prepare the charges, and the large room, the space now reserved for concerts. You can see the different equipment used to work in the mine.

Museum of minerals

It houses finds linked to the extraction industry. They have been donated by many people from Lanzada, who can boast of miners or craftsmen linked to the sector in their family. Samples include: talc, lumps of sepentinite, serpentinite schist, soapstone and minor stones. An ancient hydraulic lathe has been installed (with parts dating back to the end of the 18th century), salvaged from nearby Valbrutta.

Mechanical blade on display at the Bagnada Museum.

Museum of minerals

Of all the Alpine valleys, the Val Malenco is perhaps one of the richest in minerals. A favourable geology has meant that a wide variety of minerals like ours can be found in just a few km². According to recent estimates, the species of minerals recognised are around 300. This is a large number, considering the total number in the entire world is approximately 4000. Two species, artinite and brugnatellite, were discovered here for the very first time. There are also some crystallisations which, for their size, morphological and optical characteristics, can easily be considered the best in the world. This is the case of the untraceable demantoide, now the emblem of the Val Malenco.

Visit the website of the Bagnada Mine Museum!