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Vagonetto Mining Park

A Journey to the Center of Earth

Address: 51st kilometer of Lamia-Amfissa, Fokis Telephone: 0030.22650.78819 Website: Vagonetto.gr

Would you like to wander in the footsteps of miners into the underground tunnels with bauxite deposits and learn the mining history of metal, the raw material for aluminum production? Vagonetto Mining Park is the first theme park of Greece located between the mountain foothills of Giona and Parnassos, within the premises of S&B Industrial Minerals. The main aim of Vagonetto is to present the operation areas of a mine as well as to inform, recreate and educate the new generations on the history of the exploitation of bauxite by honoring and promoting the mining history of the prefecture of Fokis. A visit to the mining park of Vagonetto offers a multi-faceted experience, and an educational, recreational and inspirational experience to young people, students, educators and families; it reflects the facility’s history as an integral part of the life, industry and history of Fokis.

“…Would you like to wander in the footsteps of miners into the underground tunnels with bauxite deposits and learn the mining history of metal, the raw material for aluminum production? …”

Vagonetto is a unique theme park in the bowels of earth between Giona and Parnassos, where visitors will have the opportunity to travel through the galleries of the mines, experience the working conditions of the mines and dive an unknown world of the past. The idea for the creation of Vagonetto was born from the same people who worked in the mines, and wanted to preserve and exhibit the place of their memories, where their past daily life is connected with the mining of bauxite. The area of Vagonetto served as a mine for five years, from 1967 to 1972, when the particular ore was exhausted and the arcade was closed. The bauxite mining began in 1924 and the production had reached 10,000 to 180,000 tons per year by 1938. Before the war, a special air transport system for bauxite of a total length of 15 kilometers was constructed from the mines to the port of Itea in order to be loaded on ships.Vagonetto Mining Park is a unique theme park in the Greek world, which construction began in 1998 on the site of the company’s facilities and, eventually, became operational in 2003. The establishment had originally intended to present both their operating areas of a mine and to inform, entertain and educate the new generations on the history of the exploitation of bauxite and the people who worked there for decades; a priceless tribute to the mining history of Fokis.

“…The area of Vagonetto served as a mine for five years, from 1967 to 1972, when the particular ore was exhausted and the arcade was closed…The bauxite mining began in 1924 and the production had reached 10,000 to 180,000 tons per year by 1938. …”

This theme park is open all year round regularly receiving around 10.000 visitors on an annual basis, of whom half are students from schools across the country. The traffic to the site, of course, culminates in the winter, as many combine the tour of the gallery with the slalom and downhill in the ski center of Parnassos.This unique theme park gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the process of bauxite mining. Their acquaintance begins from the old mine, Underground Gallery 850, which was in operation between 1967 and 1972. Today, it has been restored, with all necessary safety measures in place, and the visitor, equipped with a hard hat and a waterproof coat, is carried in the Vagonetto, the wagon train used by the miners some thirty years ago, to the starting point of the walking itinerary. He, then, enjoys a wandering around the unique exhibits, making «stops» in a typical working day of the old time miners. The tour continues towards the Exhibition Area, which consists of the Geology Room, the Topographical Workshop, the Lab, and the Environmental Rehabilitation Hall. In each of these rooms, the visitor will get to know the mining history of Fokis, the various mining techniques, as well as the environmental rehabilitation methods post mining. Thereafter, visitors will have the opportunity to visit the Interactive Digital Technology Wing, a multifaceted experience, utilizing the entertainment value of digital technology, along with its educational aspect. Three rooms, three colors, three different stories in a specially designed environment, where the visitor can «stir» the cosmic matter, «run» alongside the alumina grains inside an industrial pipe, «chute down» virtually along with the molecules of the mineral, «travel» on the tip of a giant drilling machine searching for bauxite, and tap with his foot in order to start the virtual drilling. The tour concludes with a ride on the Outdoor Machinery Exhibition, which consists mainly of obsolete underground mining machines, exhibited in the area by the church of Santa Barbara, the protector of mines and miners.

“…Visitors will have the opportunity to visit the Interactive Digital Technology Wing, a multifaceted experience, utilizing the entertainment value of digital technology, along with its educational aspect…”

If you decide to visit the Mining Park of Vagonetto, as we advise you to, a special team of guides will welcome and accompany you for two hours in order to really understand how difficult and tedious mining was. In 2003, when Vagonetto opened its doors to the public, it has completed all the necessary protective safety measurements. All of the old machinery emphasize to the authenticity of the tour while at the same time a digital tour guide is available in six languages; this system was designed along the standards of museums like the Louvre, the Vatican, and the Metropolitan Museum of New York and it was co-funded by the European Union. So, what are you waiting for? A visit to Vagonetto Mining Park is , undoubtedly, an experience of a lifetime!