Mines of Dossena

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Mines of Dossena: what's to know

Along the Via Mercatorum, in the Parina val, there is a very rich and varied mining and extractive district : from the mines grown to zinc, lead and calamine, fluorite, blend and galena, to the quarries from which the pregit Marble Arabescar Orobico is extracted.
In the municipality of Dossena, the mineral compress is located perhaps among those of the oldest cultivation of the mountain bergamasca. In fact, the ancient cultivation of this district seems to be traced back to the Bronze Age. The area was also exploited by the Etruscans and the Romans. Pliny the Elder, for example, in his Naturalis Historia described the mining activity practiced in the Roman Empire citing Bergamo as a place of extraction of the calamine (understood as zinc ore and zinc oxide) it is likely that one of the locations to which Pliny made reference was precisely the understanding of Dossena-Beyond the Colle.
Pliny, in his treatise, described the medicated properties of the cadmium, understood as zinc oxide, and how it could be used in medicine. Second Pliny zinc oxide could be used to dry, scar, block the secretions, clean up the cysposis eyes, remove the granulations. It is the astringent, disstant, and disinfectant action still valid today. Zinc ore was also used for the production of brass alloy tools and for the production of the coins : the Roman civilization, in imperial age, required the exploitation of several mineral resources for the production of the metals, including zinc. It can be assumed that in this territory the Romans sent the damborn to metal, the slaves sentenced to the forced labor in the mines, for the extraction of the ore.
Between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the area also drew the interest of Leonardo Da Vinci who appears to be visiting during his Milanese stay, from 1428 to 1513. Leonardo Da Vinci was the mastermind of the first cartographic representations of the Bergamasche valleys, today preserved in the Royal Library of Windsor and written in reverse.
The understanding of Dossena also allowed the cultivation of the calamine and the galena argentifera, although as of the first half of the Seicento, the extractive activity of the argentiferous material ended resenting the competition of metals from the American continent. The extraction of minerals continued with ups and downs until, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the mines attracted the industry's interest in the extraction of fluorite a mineral that was used in the glazing industry and in metallurgy. Fluorite was very abundant in the mineralizations of the Paglio-Pignolino site which, today, thanks to the Municipality of Dossena and the Mining Association of Dossena was partly recovered and opened to the public.
Within the mine are visible the remains of the extraction activity and the everyday objects of the miners such as food boxes intended for lunch or work suits.

Where it is Mines of Dossena

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Mines of Dossena