Home / Routes / Iberian Pyrite Belt Route

Route - Iberian Pyrite Belt Route

The Pyrite Route is a thematic route of mining and geological tourism dedicated to the Iberian Pyrite Belt, considered one of the main mining regions of Europe, with more than 90 known massive sulphide deposits, distributed throughout the regions of Alentejo and Andalusia. In addition to the pyrite mines occur in the province hundreds of manganese deposits and veins of copper, lead, barium and antimony.
The Pyrite Route includes in Portugal several mining sites with important heritage: Lousal mine (Grândola) –Ciência Viva Centre, Mining Museum, open pit and Waldemarmine gallery; Aljustrel mine - Municipal Museum, Level 30 mine gallery, Compressors Houseand Algares sector; São Domingos mine (Mértola) – Miner’s House, open pit, sulfur factories of Achada do Gamo and mining port of Pomarão; Campo Branco landscape mines –museums of Rural Life (Entradas) and Oil Lamps (Castro Verde).


Points of Interest to visit at this Location

Lousal Ciência Viva Centre

The Lousal Ciência Viva Centre is set up in a building formerly associated with mining activity, currently adapted to perform functions for the dissemination of scientific and technological culture.

Galeria Waldemar

In 2015 the Waldemar Gallery, the first underground gallery of the Lousal mine, opened to the public in order to provide visitors an experience through the bowels of earth. During 300 metres underground the visitors can observe geodiversity ...

Mining Museum of Lousal - The Power Plant

Originally, the power plant was responsible for supplying power to the industrial mining complex of Lousal and its population (1934-1992). After some years of inactivity, since 2001, the museum plays an important role in the context of indu ...

Viana Well Malacate

The word Malacate have an origin on the Iberian Pyrite Belt mines and is attributed to the tower like structure that rests over the mine pits with the purpose of supporting the "cage" a metallic elevator cabin that carried people, mining wa ...

Aljustrel Municipal Museum

Polynucleated Museum, created in 2002, has 5 nuclei: one in the parish of Ervidel, the Rural Nucleus, and four in Aljustrel: the Nucleus of Moinho do Marralhas; the Algares Compressor Center; the Archaeological Museum Nucleus, which aims to ...

Compressed Air Power Plant

This facility was built in 1952 to produce compressed air for the mining works. At this time two new compressors and an old compressor (made in 1928 and brought from the old Algares power plant), were installed. The building and the machine ...

Trilho Geológico do Jardim Público de Beja

The Beja Public Garden Geological Trail prepared for the Beja Garden is one of the first of its kind ever developed in Portugal. This is a singular project that allows the presentation and valorisation of the significant geodiversity of the ...

Riverside Beach and Fresh Water Lagoons

The Riverside Beach of the Sao Domingos Mine has existed since June 2000, and is located in Tapada Grande. It is the largest of two fresh water reservoirs created by the Mason & Barry company during the 19th century to supply water for proc ...


The Pomarao river port was inaugurated in 1859. It was built in the first years following the rediscovery of the mine in 1854, as was the port village and the railway. Each year, throughout the time period of operation, the port, located cl ...

Railway and Metalworking Workshops

The maintenance of all railway and industrial equipment needed by the mine was conducted in workshops. Maintenance work was conducted in accordance with production work, both in terms of replacement of worn parts and components as well as f ...


Moitinha was one of the hubs of the mining complex of Sao Domingos. The mining grinding mills were installed in this location. The mineral grinding, or the reduction of the extracted pyrite into the desired granulometry was executed with a ...

Sao Domingos Mine

The Sao Domingos mine, the settlement, is a town generated out of nothing in 1854, the date on which the metallic poly-sulphuret deposit, which had already been exploited in Roman times, and throughout the 1st millennium CE, was rediscovere ...

Open Pit Mining

The open pit mining of the Sao Domingos Mine is the result of the open pit mining exploitation that begun in 1867. It has a depth of 120m and a perimeter of approximately 2 km. The materials that were extracted from this location, largely c ...

Miner´s House - Documentation Centre

The Miner´s House - Documentation Centre is the first permanent exhibition of the Sao Domingos Mine Museum. Its construction was the initial contribution to the reconstruction and recovery of the mining village. The location is used for two ...

Achada do Gamo

Achada do Gamo, since the beginning of modern mining activities in the Sao Domingos Mine, has been the centre of the metal working activities conducted in relation to the extracted minerals. During the initial laboratory phase, and in accor ...