In the Campina de Cima rock salt mine, beneath the city of Loulé, you will find a labyrinth of galleries in a variety of colours and featuring a range of machinery. This is Portugal’s deepest tourist site. Here, 230 metres beneath the surface, the activity of rock salt mining is carried on in perfect harmony with mining tourism, offering visitors an experience unlike any other.
Inviting you to this underground adventure are Fininho, the mine’s mascot, and his friend, Salty. The route covers a distance of 1.3 km and offers numerous experiences: you can learn new facts about geology and engineering, among other fields, and marvel at the beauty and grandeur of the mine’s galleries, made up of 230-million-year-old rock salt.
A guided tour along this underground itinerary lets you observe and compare the ways in which mining machinery and techniques have evolved over time. You will learn about the life of Saint Barbara, patron saint of miners and other arts, through the colourful exhibition interpreted by contemporary artist Klaus Zylla. And if you are curious about Saint Barbara’s history, one of the mine’s galleries is home to one of the biggest collections dedicated to this particular saint, which you also have the option of visiting. The exhibits include sculptures, paintings and religious utensils in a range of sizes, from various countries and made using different techniques.
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