Social Value

The “Gruta do Carvão” displays a huge potential in multiple areas such as, science, education and tourism. It´s recognized the importance of this cave in the interpretation of geological phenomena and as a privileged site to approach the volcanology theme. In educational terms, “Gruta do Carvão” turns out to be an excellent setting for dynamic field classes and environmental educational actions. Given its location, grandiosity and singular geological structures, this volcanic cave assumes an undeniable touristic interest. The current visitors center of “Paim” section is an important interpretational support for all the visits that take place, whether they have touristic, educational or scientific purposes. The future interpretational center of the “Gruta do Carvão”, currently under construction, is going to be located in “Rua de Lisboa” (“Secadores de Tabaco” section) and it will grandly contribute for the economic and social valorization of this volcanic cave.

View of the interior of the visitors support center of the "Gruta do Carvão" - "Paim" Section

Due to its nature, “Gruta do Carvão”, presents a big constraint to the territorial planning because, in several places, the cave is located a few meters away or in some cases even under buildings, roads, water supply network and sewage system. The classification of the “Gruta do Carvão” as a Natural Monument by the Regional Decree Nº4/2005/A of May 11th, contributed to its protection and preservation, regulated its use, as well asdetermined the fines concerning any environmental harm against the natural heritage.