Mines of Poço das Freitas

TVAP / Mining Sites Route

Located between the Calvão and Vidoeiro brooks, the site known as Poço das Freitas is one of the most significant testimonies related with the ancient mining activity on the Terva Valley. The extraction site covers an area with around 1000 meters in the North/ South direction and 700 meters between the East and West. Clearly perceptible are the open-pit excavation areas shaped by ‘cuts’ and trenches that are outlined by underground galleries and vertical wells.

Inside some galleries, the presence of shores can still be seen in the form of gaps and inlets alongside some niches where the Romans used to place their lamps.

The lagoon naming the site – Poço das Freitas, is a reservoir that might have been a Roman dam, and performs a site of paramount importance in the overall mining exploitation process.

After the intense Roman exploitation, the area endured recurrent exploitation periods, however sporadic and with smaller-scales, up to the beginning of the twentieth century.

Source: Unidade de Arqueologia da Universidade do Minho 2014, Rotas do Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Terva, Câmara Municipal de Boticas, Boticas. / Photography: TR