MuséeMineralogical, Paleontological Museum of the Zolfara "Sebastiano Mottura"

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A new structure, recently opened, currently hosts, in Viale della Ragione, the Mineralogical, Paleontological Museum of the Zolfara “Sebastiano Mottura”, best known as Museo mineralogico di Caltanissetta, that was previously located inside the nearby Istituto Minerario “Mottura”. Its walls enclose a rich collection of minerals and fossils, together with a permanent exhibition dedicated to Sicily’s sulphur technology. Inside, one can feel the charm of the glistening of approximately five thousand minerals, among which a precious aragonite, which inspired the architectures of the new museum, stands out. The Museum’s collection has been compared to a family album of the Earth, with its magnificent minerals coming from all over the world: amber, amethyst, gold, pyrite, aquamarine, emeralds, malachite, beryl, sulphur crystals and much more. Next to the mineral collection, we must also point out the importance of the collection of fossils: a sample of Ammonite Arietites from the Jurassic stands out among models, scale models, miniatures and remains related to the sulphur mines and the mining civilisation. The peculiar history of Caltanissetta, world capital of the sulphur between the 19th and the 20th Century is, indeed, masterfully narrated by the Museum.

                                                                 Tourist District of the Mines

 I.I.S.S. "Sebastiano Mottura"
Viale della Regione 71, 93100 Caltanissetta
Open from Monday to Saturday from 09.00 am to 01.00 pm
Phone: 0934 591280 Fax: 0934556662

Access for people with disabilities
Italian guide
Reserved and free parking

Quoi de neuf

"Carusi 's cemetery"

12 November 1881. Time: 6.00 AM  The sulphur mine of Gessolungo - Caltanissetta.

250 miners are descending into the mine like every morning. An explosion of firedamp starts a violent fire triggered by the flame of an acetylene lamp. 55 men, although wounded, manage to escape. 65 miners die on the spot. 16 men die in the hospital from the serious wounds they suffered. These men were sulphur miners from Caltanissetta. 19 of them were “carusi”, children aged between 6 and 14 years, whose name in the Sicilian dialect derives from the Latin expression “carens uso”, namely “lacking of experience”. The carusi were assigned to the hardest, but fundamental job in the mine: the transport outside of the material mined from the bowels of the earth. Their working conditions, letting go of their young age, were so horrible, brutal, and inhuman to be close to slavery. In the tragedy of Gessolungo of 12 November 1881, one of the worst occurred in the Sicilian mines, when, twenty days after the explosion, 55 bodies of the victims were recovered, it was impossible to give a name to 9 carusi: deprived of their childhood, deprived of the sunlight to live in the bowels of the earth, the carusi were also deprived also of their identity, and often even their names were forgotten. The emotion for the death of so many miners and so many children in Gessolungo was such that the population requested and obtained that the victims would be buried in a graveyard built for the occasion next to the mine. The graveyard, today restored, is known as “Cimitero dei Carusi” and preserves the memory of the mine’s victims of the past centuries, victims of the sulphur, which misled and then let down whole generations of Sicilians. 

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  • Viale della Regione, Quartiere Provvidenza, Caltanissetta, Sicile, 93100, Italie
  • Aujourd'hui:
    09:00 - 17:00
    9:00 - 13:00
    9:00 - 13:00
    9:00 - 13:00
    9:00 - 13:00
    9:00 - 13:00
    9:00 - 13:00
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  • Jubrail

    5 out of 5 rating 01-23-2020


  • Marta

    5 out of 5 rating 01-23-2020

    Such a brilliant collection of minerals and gemstones from all over the world. A very interactive and interesting museum that gives you the opportunity to explore it from home as well, through the audio/video links.

  • Sergio

    5 out of 5 rating 01-22-2020

    Un'ottima guida e un validissimo supporto per uno stupendo museo ricco di rocce e minerali. Guida da utilizzare e museo da visitare!

  • Sachin Khanna

    5 out of 5 rating 01-22-2020

    Amazing place with great collections.

  • Valerio

    5 out of 5 rating 09-08-2019

    Splendida iniziativa che permette di valorizzare e far conoscere, anche a chi non può fisicamente recarsi sul luogo, questo splendido Museo!

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