Snow wells of the Sierra Espuña

During the Little Ice Age in Spain temperatures were somewhat lower than today. This is shown by the presence of an extensive network of ice stores known varyingly as neveras, pozos de nieve, ventisqueros and glaceres, which were built and maintained between the 16th and 19th centuries along the Eastern Mediterranean, some in areas where it no longer snows even one day. The storage and distribution of ice was a lively business involving whole sections of the rural population. A good example are those of the Sierra de Espuña which is home to a number of ice wells, including those in the photo shown on the map. Most of Murcian wells were built in the 17th and 18th centuries, and continued to function until the 1930s when industrial ice production made them utterly inviable. Warming and much less snow in the last 50 years would make ice production here very difficult today.

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