Isabel and Emilia Adits
La Nueva and Samuño, Langreo
San Luis Mine
Isabel y Emilia Adits
An adit or mine opening is an entryway in the mountain mines. Companies used to reinforce these entryways and build one of them using different shapes, materials, arches and other finishing elements in order to make it stand out. Isabel and Emilia adits are some excellent examples, built by the company Carbones de La Nueva at the beginning of the 20th century.
A mine opening is an aperture to the exterior of a gallery that is used as a way out or as an entryway in a mine. The entrance was normally followed by a horizontal or even an inclined tunnel. When this entrance designates the base level of a mountain mining facility with several slope levels, it may be called adit. This entryway has always a weaker side against landslides. Consequently, in some mining facilities, these entryways were reinforced with a façade. This was built with different materials along the years, starting with irregular stone slabs and eventually becoming stone blocks, bricks or artificial stones. Since the beginning, mining companies used to leave their own signature style in these mine openings.
The general interest of the mining companies which operated in the valley of the Samuño river in reinforcing and making the entryways to the galleries and adits stand out was rather limited. Nevertheless, some cases of highly reinforced ones can be found in the adits in Isabel, Emilia or Trechora. The latter was opened by the coal company Carbones de Santa Ana and remodeled by the company Duro Felguera.
On the one hand, the Isabel adit was used to manage the mountain mines in Carbones de La Nueva. Then, this company was purchased by the Asturian Royal Mining Company (Real Compañía Asturiana de Minas - RCAM) in order to provide coal to the company facility after the closure of the mine in Arnao, and decided to work in the deposits under the valley level through a vertical shaft later called San Luis. Stone ashlar and bricks were the main materials used in the Isabel adit, where the entryway segmental arch was finished with mixtilinear details in the pediment. Those elements were added later in 1904 according to an inscription in the keystone.
On the other hand, the Emilia adit was created in the context of mountain mining and in the same date as the Isabel adit. It did also play an important role by the time the work started in the vertical shaft, since its galleries were connected to the first level of the shaft and it was used to take the mine product out of the San Luis mine shaft to the washing plant. Nevertheless, since 1923, only its lower part can be seen since a road construction demolished the upper part, of utmost interest. However, it still keeps its segmental arch, the inscription with the name of the company and the original materials with which it was built (stone ashlar and bricks).