The salt mine of Cambrils dels Pirineus (el Solsonès)

Thanks to the rising springs of salt water in the area around Cambrils (El Solsonès), this has been an appreciated source of salt, obtained through evaporation, since the Middle Ages.

The Salí de Cambrils (Cambrils Salt Mine) is an old exploitation located in an area of steep slopes whose activity is documented from at least the year 1780. The system used for obtaining salt was that of a craft industry. Salt water was stored in large pools and then transported to yards or evaporation beds via a system of wooden channels, irrigation ditches and furrows.

The yards or evaporation beds were built with clay tiles so that the water did not seep away and they were filled with three centimetres of salt water. Three days of god weather were needed for the water to evaporate and the salt was then stored in piles and left in special drying deposits. The end of the process saw the salt loaded into small wagons and transported by rail to a store where it was kept until it was sold.

At the mine, it is possible to see 5 mills; 2 salt mills, a flour mill, a cattle food mill and a shelling mill. All of these mills were driven by fresh water and to ensure that it flowed with sufficient force to turn the paddles of the mill, it was necessary to store water in a pool and then release it when the mil had work by opening a sluice gate and allowing it to flow back into the river.

The last salt was extracted from the Cambrils salt mine in 1963.

This complex is currently being restored and it is possible to go on guided visits which the Centre de Natura (Nature Centre) uses to promote this spectacular setting.

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