The town of Cercs, in Berguedà, forms part of the most important mining centre in Catalonia
, particularly from the modern mining of brown lignite coal in the late 19th century. To ensure stable labour in such an isolated place, a colony was built with housing and basic services for the miners, following the example of the textile colonies in the region.
Since 1999, the colony of Sant Corneli
has been home to Cercs Mines Museum, which explains what the mining activity in the area was like over many years, from a geological, landscape, social and economic point of view. The Museum belongs to the Territorial system of the Science and Technology Museum of Catalonia
The main building of the Museum is the old school of the colony, which was converted in 1931 to the "Hogar del Minero" (Home of the Miner) dedicated to services for workers (café, library, barbershop, cinema, games room, etc.). Here you can see the permanent exhibition that explains what coal mining and the mining infrastructure
was like. A significant part is devoted to daily life in the colony
and to the working conditions
of the miners. Two audiovisual displays describe their most emblematic protests and you can also visit a miner’s house.
In 2012, "The spectacle of the mine: emotions and sensations" was included as part of the exhibition which delves into the world of mining through a immersive museum experience using new technologies
Finally, a guided tour of the interior of the mine
transports the visitor to other periods and you can travel along the first 450 metres of a 7 km long gallery in a wagon.