The Coal Bunker

Long ago, the Coal Bunker in La Hiruela was one of the main sources of economy of the region. Until the year 1950, charcoal was produced from oak to be sold in the surrounding villages and even in Madrid. Coal was a fundamental fuel that was used both for domestic and industrial use before the introduction of diesel or electricity. This change in fuel use forced the inhabitants of La Hiruela to move to the big cities in search of work.

The town hall of La Hiruela, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the community of Madrid, carried out in the year 2006 the project of construction of a coal industry as an ethnographic reference of great interest, with the objective of recovering and spreading one of the main subsistence pillars of the traditional life of La Hiruela: Coal.

The local experts in the practice of charcoal were responsible for building it.

In the Hiruela the coal was fetched in large trucks, and was carried in wheelbarrow or on the backs of mules to other municipalities.

A popular saying “in the house where you had closed coal there was no shortage of bread.” It was also possible to manufacture highly-demanded heath coal for use in forgeries and some kitchens.