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Explore and Enjoy one of the Greatest Marble Routes in the World

Do you know?
In Portugal’s  Alentejo region, just an hour and a half away from Lisbon, there are massive deposits of the famous "Portuguese Marble of Estremoz" in the Vila Viçosa - Borba - Estremoz corridor, an area of  25 miles.
Formed during the Paleozoic period (541 to 251.9 million years ago) when what we now know today as Portugal was in the middle of a chain of mountains resulting from the collision between continental blocks, originating from Pangea. This was a period when Portugal and North America were united without a giant Atlantic Ocean separating us (that’s why there is also marble in the state of Vermont too). The high pressure and temperatures inside the mountain chain transformed limestone, formed in the oceanic environment in the Lower Paleozoic (500-400 Ma), into marble.
The Portuguese marbles from the "Vila Viçosa - Borba – Estremoz'' corridor represent one of the most important marble deposits in the world, the most important on the Iberian Peninsula, representing huge socio economic importance.
Ancient exploration is known through archeology, since Roman times (1st century BC) in this "marble triangle” of theAlentejo.
From the 13th century to the present day, marble has been used in many buildings, palaces, churches, castles or noble manors, as well as in sculpture and urban planning, with a huge impact on the arts of stone-working.
The marble explored here stand out for the enormous variety of polychrome: white, cream, pink, red, gray or black, veined or bent, widely used in urban and constructive architecture, as the example of those used in the "PAC” in New York . Portuguese marble has been used in the United States since the 19th century for its quality and unique coloring.
In New York 's Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, or "PAC," more than 5,000 marble tiles extracted in quarries in Portugal were used, creating a unique pattern that defines the building. 
The Portugal Marble Route starts in Vila Viçosa, in the center of the exploration of Alentejo marble, also known as "Ouro Branco” (White Gold)  offering visitors true experiences of industrial and cultural tourism.
With the Marble Route, visitors have access to a pedestrian trail, the Route from Landscape to Archeology,  An unmissable journey, where contact with nature and the living Alentejo landscape engages our senses by hearing, smelling and touching marble.
The visit begins at the installations of Rota do Mármore, where the visitor will explore the history of the industry and the geological territory of local marble. Afterwards, you will have the experience of visiting three key points of marble activity: the extraction, transformation and use of marble. The contact with the quarries, from where "Ouro Branco” is extracted, from massive deep craters, in an "inverted architecture” in some cases 150 meters deep, blocks are extracted by powerful machines.
The visit continues through the transformation workshops, where the marble blocks are sliced into thin sheets, then cut into mosaics or tiles that are polished or transformed into other pieces for architecture, appreciated for the quality of the natural stone.
Any visit could not end without a visit to the masonry workshops, true sculpture ateliers, where the masonry's work on stone maintains the tradition of many generations. Masters of the knowledge transmitted throughout the centuries, the craftspeople recreate art worthy of the Renaissance masters, updated by the technology of today.
Certainly this is one of the most authentic and unique experiences that Portugal has to offer!
On vacation days, just the weekend, on a getaway or even on business, explore the Trail from Landscape to Archeology and enjoy tranquility, nature, viewpoints, marble, security  as you delve into this fascinating world of Industrial Tourism that takes marble from the ground to places, statues and even sidewalks.

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