Museu Mina Modelo Caetano Sonego

Model Mine Caetano Sonego Museum

Useful Information

Location: Access via SC-446, at the end of Rua Paulino Bússolo on the far side of the soccer field.
(-28.664632, -49.355208)
Open: closed.
Fee: closed.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: l=8,000 m.
Guided tours: L=150 m, D=20 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Museu Mina Modelo Caetano Sonego, Rua Paulino Bussolo s/n Mina Brasil, CEP: 88811240, Tel: +55-48-3445-8845.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1917 beginning of mining.
1955 mine closed.
1980 mine prepared and secured for use as a show mine.
04-DEC-1984 opened to the public.
07-AUG-2003 declared a heritage site.
2004 closed due to lack of maintenance.
2016 sports court revitalized.



For some reason the officials decided to relocate the show mine to the Mina de Visitação Octávio Fontana which is nearby. This site has been closed down and as far as we know will not be reopened. We actually wrote this whole page before we mentioned that this show mine has been closed for more than 15 years. We found it important to inform you about the closure, and of its former importance, so we will keep this page.

Museu Mina Modelo Caetano Sonego (Caetano Sônego Show Mine) operated from 1920 to 1955 and produced coal. In 1984, it was the first show mine opened to the public in Brazil. It was named a Mina Modelo (Model Mine) as they had no term for a show mine. The mine was managed by the Municipal Secretariat of Culture, Sport and Tourism, and was known for many years as the only show mine in Brazil.

The show mine provided historical, geological, anthropological, labor and cultural information about the mining history. The mine was dug by hand and has 8 km of tunnels. It was entered on trolleys, carts which were created for tourism purposes only. This was not an original train, but the mine with its one-meter-high passage is real, and you better bend down on the ride. 150 m inside the mine the walls show the marks of the tools and the exposed coal seams. There is also a wall with plaques showing the names of the 121 miners who died in Criciúma in the 1970s and 1980s.

Criciúma was once the capital of Brazilian coal and today it is the capital of ceramic tiles. The museum adjacent to the show mine revives this history with photographs, documents, and tools from various eras. It also explains the geology and the varieties of the coal layers at Criciúma. One section is about the gigantic strikes of the 20th century for better working conditions.

The mine was an important place for field visits of students. Former miners who worked there brought their children and grandchildren to show them under which conditions they worked.