Grutas de Santo Adrião

Useful Information

Location: At Monte dos Ferreiros, near Caçarelhos. From Vimioso southeast on N218 towards Miranda do Douro.
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave Silurian limestone, dolomite, marble.
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=60m
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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In the area of the village Caçarelhos, the hill Monte dos Ferreiros (Blacksmith Hill) is an outcrop of marble. The marble was mined for a long time, at least since Roman times, and there are still some quarries for the production of gravel and sand. During the quarrying of marble in the Minas de Santo Adrião numerous caves were discovered. They became famous for the prehistoric remains found inside. Finally, they were partly mined and destroyed, and as they were not closed, people visited the caves and removed all speleothems. During the last years, local speleologists discovered some passages which were not known and thus untouched.

Today there are four massively destroyed caves which are called Grutas de Santo Adrião. The importance of the cave lies in the prehistoric remains. The caves were visited by hunters during the Neolithic Age. The remains included animal bones, human bones, broken black pottery, a bone awl, and arrowheads of quartz. There were also Bronze Age like a hatchet-shaped wedge and an arrowhead of bronze.

The Palaeozoic marble was first scientifically examined by the geologists Nery Delgado in 1887. He is the father of Portuguese speleology. He also discovered the four caves and named them Gruta de Ferreiros (Cave of Blacksmiths), Gruta Grande (Great Cave), Gruta da Ribeira and Gruta de Geraldes.