The big guns of Menorca
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The Canary Islands

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Fuerteventura and its Limekilns (Hornos de Cal)

Fuerteventura is not noted for it's mineral wealth. However the island does seem to have high-quality limestone and,using it wisely, a great many limekilns or 'Hornos de Cal' in Spanish. Some of the 300 that are estimated to have existed in the island have been restored, but by 1970 cement replaced lime, doing away with the office of the lime merchants, which began on the island around 1641. The two types of lime on the island are :-
“Albeo” Lime : used to whiten walls. It is an organic lime obtained from large sedimentary deposits of shells of marine animals. It is usually found by the coast. Higher temperature and longer cooking time is needed to get that king of lime.
Chemical Lime or lime stone: it’s found in the interior of the island, a few inches deep, and is used for construction, to purify water cisterns …

Similarly there are two types of kiln :-
“Caleras” or domestic wood kilns: mainly in the villages of the interior. Gorse, tamarisks and “matos” were used as fuel. They had a low production capacity per batch and the lime was destined to internal or domestic consumption. These kilns are circular and their height did not exceed 4m.
Coal-fired industrial kilns: also called continuous kilns, due to their production without interruption. They had a great capacity for lime production. They are usually rectangular and can reach 8 to 12 m high.

Isla de Lobos

Three of the four kilns on the Isla de Lobos survive, the Atalaya Grande, Las Lagunitas and Calera kilns. I believe this is the Las Lagunitas kiln


The coastal limekilns at Ajuy are different to any other kilns on the island, as they were dug straight into the cliff face above the sea. They are about 12 m deep and 3m in diameter. The boats that transported the finished lime drew up immediately below them in a narrow channel in the rocks.

Caleta de Fuste

Caleta de Fuste was an important port for lime with some impressive and well-preserved beachside kilns. There are three sets of kilns, one triple pot, one single pot and one double pot set in the beach-front gardens to the South of the main town. They are quite proud of them as they are signposted off the main road.

La Laja Pereda

La Laja Pereda is a small cove to the South of the Salt Museum at Salinas del Carmen. At the cove was a large, chunky three-pot kiln right on the waterline. Unfortunately the seaward kiln has almost collapsed. Beyond the cove there are a coupe of small kilns, the smallest one has almost disappeared.

Gran Tarajal

One large industrial kiln on the outskirts of the town which was built in 1953 according to the datestone. A couple of smaller kilns can be found further inland beside the FV511 / FV4 road junction and one on the FV520 road.

Other Limekiln Locations

Other limekilns I've heard about are :-
Four at Toston and at least one at Centolo Negro, near El Cotillo,
Puerto de Cabras, Hondura and “El Charco” in Puerto del Rosario
Plus many more dotted around I'm sure.

Wind and water power

Other than the dozens of limekilns, there's not a lot of industrial remains to see on Fuerteventura but the museum in Antigua is worth a visit. Wind power was widely used, primarily to pump water. Most of the water pumps are American 'Aeroter Windmill Co' products from Chicago but there are a few hand-powered wells too.

Ajuy sea caves

Ajuy has impressive sea caves, rumoured to be a WW2 German submarine base. A little work had been carried out with a blocked-off tunnel linking the caves to the village.


There are a few active quarries but this small quarry at the Giniginamar junction is disused.


A series of pillboxes defend La Laja Pereda. Obviously something worth defending but it's a deserted cove !

Gran Canaria and La Gomera

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Mostly ships but I did find a fragment of the electric tramway in Las Palmas and a windmill on La Gomera.


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Not much to do in a day on Tenerife except get a day ticket for the trams....


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Ajaccio Station

Another cruise, another day and the 12:10 pm arrival is still arriving but a little later and now in the hands of the new 'Panoramique' railcars.

June 2007

A cruise and a day on land in Ajaccio, just in time to see the 12:10 pm. arrival from the other end of the island. As it was running a little late, it gave me time to look at their brand-new 'Panoramique' railcar, delivered two days ago.


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A week lounging around in Paphos, a beautiful area but seriously lacking in much of industrial interest.


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Madeira's mountainside rack railway

Mallorca (or Majorca)

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The Soller Railway

A train leaves Palma Station and a couple of other spots in 2019.

From Soller town to the outskirts of Palma, as far as we could go in 2016 by coach.

From Soller town to Palma, my first visit in 2003.

The Soller Tramway

The Soller Tramway runs from the Soller Railway Station in Soller Town to Port de Soller. It drops down to the town square, a wonderful place to sit and watch the trams pass, on through the streets of Soller town and off to the port.

Soller town

A small factory or mill near the tramway depot

TIB, The Mallorca Railway

New and not-so-new - Inca Station in 2019 and Palma and the new line to Manacor in 2003

Son Servera

The railway line from Manacor to Arta has ben converted to a 'green way' for walkers and cyclists. I joined it at Son Servera and walked up to the tunnel and back.

Mallorca's windmills, pillboxes and an aqueducts

There must be over a thousand windmlls on Mallorca, most of them now in ruins but one or two have been restored to their former glory.

Ibiza and Formentera

The saltpans on Formentera used this 750mm narrow-gauge loco, believed to have been built by Krauss.


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An old well on the coast at Cala Turqueta

And a couple of very big guns at La Mola Fort, just outside Mahon

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

Thanks for addition information to :- 'Fuerte Charter' History Blog for details of the Fuerteventura limekiln industry.

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