The Associação Centro Ciência Viva do Lousal (ACCVL), a private non-profit entity, was created in 2010 and has as partners: the “Ciência Viva – Agência Nacional para a Cultura Científica e Tecnológica”, the “Câmara Municipal de Grândola – CMG”, the “Fundação Frédéric Velge” and the “Faculdade de Ciência da Universidade de Lisboa”. This Association is currently responsible for the management of three important cultural, historical and scientific centers in the former mining village of Lousal:

  1. The Lousal Ciência Viva Center – inaugurated on June 30th 2010, is inserted in the Rede Nacional da Ciência Viva. It is a Center that uses the theme of Georesources as a conceptual gateway to the exploration of scientific and technological areas such as Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Geophysics, Mathematics, Engineering, Biology, Ecology, Informatics, Computer Graphics and new Communication and Image Technologies. This Center privileges activities, exhibitions and experimental spaces based on interactivity with the public.
  2. The Lousal Mining Museum –  it is located in the building of the mine’s Power Plant. Between 1934 and 1992, it was responsible for supplying energy to the Lousal industrial mining complex and its population. Inaugurated on May 20th 2001, this museum houses objects and equipment that allows the visitor to take a look at the daily work throughout the 88 years of activity of this mine.
  3. The Waldemar Mining Gallery – inaugurated on July 27th 2015, allows an underground route in the southern sector of the Lousal mine, about 280 m long. Along the way it is possible to observe the old pails (four rooms with concrete coating, destined to the old storage of explosive material), the Waldemar and Luís wells, which allowed access to the lower floors of the mine, as well as discover all the geology and biology characteristic of the site.

 

 

Historical setting:

The Lousal mine, located in Grândola, had its extractive activity, between 1900 and 1988, mainly dedicated to the exploitation of pyrite for the use of sulfur, a raw material for the production of sulfuric acid used in the manufacture of fertilizers. In the late 1980s, the production of sulfuric acid from pyrite ceased to be economically viable, leading to the closure of the mine.

Following the closure of the mine, there was a accentuated decrease in the population. In order to reverse this situation, in 1994, the RELOUSAL project was born, resulting from the union of efforts between SAPEC, SA (the company that owns the mine) and the Câmara Municipal de Grândola, creating the Fundação Frédéric Velge. This entity initiated a set of initiatives aimed at exploring the museological, tourist and geoenvironmental potential of Lousal. Over more than twenty years, several buildings have been recovered and transformed in a Hotel, a Restaurant, an Industrial Archaeology Museum and a Ciência Viva Center.