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Spain’s Red River

By Linda Tancs

There’s nothing particularly unusual about Spain’s Red River (Río Tinto) until you reach the town of Niebla, where the reason for its name becomes strikingly apparent. That’s where you’ll see an orange and red hue that gives the river an otherworldly appearance. But there’s nothing supernatural about the reason. For 5,000 years, copper, gold, silver and other minerals had been mined along the river, with dissolving iron giving it a reddish hue. In fact, the river is often considered the birthplace of both the Copper Age and Bronze Age, a site mined by the ancient Iberians and others for copper, gold and silver. The Rio Tinto Mining Museum in Huelva explores the history of mining in the area from prehistoric times to the present.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

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