Our History

We have lovingly and respectfully reclaimed our past to set ourselves apart in the present. We invite you to learn about the history of an industrial reality that lies dormant and that once was a driving force of transformation in this region: The Iron Mines of A Silvarosa.

A journey through time that begins in the late 19th century with the company "THE VIVERO IRON ORE COMPANY SOCIETY C.O. L.T.D", which was managed by Germans, Basque industrialists, and eventually a national company, and concludes in the 1960s.

Everything in this accommodation is related to the Mines, each Apartment is named after a mine shaft or station: Bocamina FEDERICO, Estación de CHOUPÍN, and Bocamina SIETE A. If you delve into our history, you will learn what happened in each of these places and fully enjoy your experience with us.

If the Gold Rush was experienced in the Wild West, what happened with iron ore in this part of Galicia is no less significant. Viveiro and A Silvarosa were not chosen by chance; the proximity of the mines to the coast made mineral extraction in this area more economical and attractive to foreign investors. The Silvarosa mines were initially exploited by a German company called "The Vivero Iron Co. Ltd". This German company changed the terrain's orography, starting with open-pit mines and later drilling galleries in the mountains of the parishes of Vieiro and Covas. They also built large infrastructures, such as a loading dock in the maritime area of A Insua—today an ethnographic area—where the ore arrived directly from the mine via a sort of cable car, a pioneering bi-cable aerial system in Galicia, to the cargo ships that transported the ore to Germany for processing. From this period also dates the construction of the building housing our apartments, which once housed the first hospital of the mines, the residence of the medical staff, as well as various workshops and offices where, through a door that still remains, workers were paid their wages. On the same plot stands the noble “Casa da Mina”, the residence of the first Engineers and Mining Officials stationed here, among whom the German Federico Guillermo Cloos stands out. He built it in 1908 as his residence, office, and workplace, in the style of Central European mansions of the time. This house is listed as a B.I.C by the Xunta de Galicia, and the splendor of its exterior construction and gardens can still be admired.

The mining operation operated intermittently with periods of shutdown, driven by market conditions or events such as World War I, the 1929 crisis, or the Spanish Civil War. This mining company brought significant population movement and cosmopolitan migration to the city of Viveiro and its surroundings; people moved to work in the mines from many parts of Galicia, Spain, and abroad. Even in our property, the crew of a German submarine sunk off the coast of Burela during World War I found refuge… but that's another story. The mine had several managements; after the aforementioned German company, the local entrepreneur José Barro managed the mine. It was later managed by various families of Basque professionals, such as Don Victoriano Ortueta, and eventually nationalized as part of the ENSIDESA company, with notable engineers like Don Pablo Alarcó y Bencomo at the helm. During this last period until its closure in 1966, the mine generated a lot of employment in the area and a strong attachment among the population, which is still evident in the memories of the residents today. At its peak, the mine employed 500 workers in various shifts.

Today, the Minas de Silvarosa are a historically and culturally significant site within Galician Industrial Heritage. The area has been abandoned, and nature has reclaimed much of the mining facilities, creating a magical, nostalgic, and picturesque atmosphere. The Community of Montes de Vieiro, the owner of the land where the deposit is located, is engaged in efforts to enhance, signalize, and rediscover the old installations. Our accommodation offers visitors the opportunity to stay in an authentic historical setting, enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains, valley, and estuary of Viveiro, and directly access the trail leading to the ruins of the old mines in A Silvarosa on foot. This approximately 3 km walk passes through various remnants such as mine shafts, galleries, mineral loading hoppers, workshops, staircases, passages, and more.

Minas de silvarosa

Our apartments offer you the experience of staying at the authentic beginnings of one of Galicia's historic modern industries. Records indicate that these mines supplied minerals to the Sargadelos foundry even before. Part of our house is constructed using materials manufactured and sealed during the final period of production at the Royal Factory of Sargadelos. You can witness firsthand the start of this mining history, admire the potential the area has had and still possesses, and appreciate the transformation that this type of steel industry has motivated in both the landscape and society.

The mine is located on the slope of Monte Silvarosa. Initially, mining began with open-pit operations in the highest areas of the mountain. Once all possible ore was extracted this way, they started constructing a network of galleries and tunnels across different levels of the mountain. To transport the ore to the maritime loading dock using the aerial cable system, they built several loading stations. These stations featured monumental stone-walled deposits or hoppers where the mineral was stored to load the carts that would travel to the cable car. Among these stations and galleries, the following stand out: 


This is one of the highest parts of Minas da Silvarosa, the highest mining location geographically within the parish of Vieiro, at approximately 350 meters above sea level. Here, there is a large deposit where extracted mineral was dumped to lower parts of the mine, taking advantage of gravity down the mountainside. This monumental deposit was once surrounded by a high stone wall and had stairs ascending from lower levels of the mine. La Galería SIETE A is one of the best-preserved galleries at this location. It had two mine shafts and connected to upper levels that are now in the parish of Covas, as well as other galleries on lower levels, including Nivel SIETE, NIVEL TRES A, and NIVEL TRES. At this same altitude, there is a small gallery that was not exploited in its day, known as Filón Varela.


It is believed that when German engineers conducted the first mining explorations in the 19th century in A Silvarosa, they named this place in honor of the renowned Viennese composer Chopin. Over time, the name integrated into the Galician language as we know it today. At the site of Choupin, there is a large stone-built mineral loading hopper with ramps where different levels of carts circulated to unload the ore, which would then be transported by aerial cable to la Insua. At the Choupin Station, there was the angle of the aerial cable system for transporting the ore, the counterweights that tensioned the cable, as well as the machine house where the large air compressors operated, supplying compressed air to the entire mine. There were also several forges, workshops, and a wooden porticoed space known locally as the "Chinese house" for work underneath. Below the Choupin level is the "Ventilation Gallery", and at the top of Choupín is the closed "Level 5 Gallery" and the ramps that lead the carts from the Level 3.


It was the first of the Galleries of Minas da Silvarosa, named in honor of the first German mining engineers who directed the company THE VIVERO IRON ORE COMPANY LTD: Mr. Federico Staaden and Mr. Federico Guillermo Cloos. This Gallery is located at the lowest practicable level of the Vieiro Mine. Nowadays, this Gallery is filled with water due to seepage from the upper galleries, and it is striking to peer inside due to the vivid orange color resulting from mud and iron oxide formed within.

Abrir chat
¿En qué podemos ayudarte?