The First Struggles of the Miners
The last years of 1800 are remembered as a dark period for Italy because of the deep political, social and economic crisis. Cavriglia too lived an important productive crisis in the lignite field. These were difficult years, in which the figure of the miner gained deeper awareness of his social status and his very poor living and working conditions.

In Italy important political movements arose that were triggered by the miner’s claims and rebellions. In 1896, the production crisis of the mine increased the social problems of workers who organized the first big strike. Three years later, in 1899, there was another great strike of miners which concluded in a massive dismissal of workers. In 1900, the crisis which culminated in Italy with the killing of King Umberto I by the anarchist Gaetano Bresci, seemed to be over. The production of lignite was revived and the employed throughout the mining industry rose to 1.450 workers.
The following year, however, the social situation was dashed again and the malcontents as well. During the month of May the employees of the mine striked for four days and on July 17th, it was 1.315 workers, 6 women and 34 children of Castelnuovo who joined the employees of other mines, until a total of  2.500 strikers was achieved. At the end of July, the situation improved and the strike ended. 17 days later the miners were very tired of their psychophysical condition and they did not gain any type of compensation and were forced to return to work. But never before, in the history of the mines of the Upper Valdarno, has such resistance by the workers been manifested. The following year, 1902, did not bring better luck: the excavation was suspended and nearly 3.000 workers were laid off who were reinstated only after bitter battles.
The Workers' Solidarity
Among the ‘800 and early ‘900, the Cavriglia’ miners founded party headquarters, organized leagues and associations that were created with the only purpose of solidarity. Among them: the League of improvement among the miners, the Philharmonic Society, the Anarchist Group, the Anarchist Circle, the Circle of Socialist Youth, the Christian Social Union of Workers and Settlers, the Catholic Cooperative, the Catholic Electoral Union and the Recreational Catholic Club.
The Santa Barbara Village
The work in the mines led to the necessary construction of a new village nearby to house all the miners and their families who came from afar to work in Castelnuovo.
This is where the design of minimal and simple architecture started in the early 20th century with the village that was named Santa Barbara and which was different from the regular plan with many blocks of apartment buildings set in multiple, perfectly aligned rows.
The village was built in La Tinaia.
The main building, which still exists today and is near the church, was renovated in the mid-60s and has been transformed into an oratory. In the church there is a fresco depicting the crucifixion of Christ, attributed to the school of Andrea del Sarto, originally placed in the church of Saint Lucia alle Corti. Beside the church is the monument dedicated to the deceased of those working in the mines, made in 1985, designed by architects De Filla and Merlini, by the will of the people of Santa Barbara.
The victims are remembered by the one exemplary transportation wagon left over from this time period which was used in the mine for the extraction of lignite when it was in the underground tunnels.

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