Marble from Portugal - Traditional industry
Marble from Portugal
Marble from Portugal has played an important part in the World's marble industry. Marble from Portugal is historical as it's one of the most used stones in construction. The main reason for marbles use in Portuguese monuments, was the simplicity to polish and work the stone, whereas other stones much harder and resistant were more complicated to craft.
Traditionally Portugal, Italy, Spain where world top suppliers of natural stone, especially marble. However nowadays this whole scenario has changed. Other growing countries have surpassed these traditional exporters, we have Turkey and China in the leading positions.
Marbles from Portugal are very famous worldwide, namely the Rosa Portugal, probably the best pink marble in the world. However, the whole industry has been in crisis for last decade or so, and many Portuguese marbles have become not viable production wise.
When I speak of marbles, I usually include limestones in the general meaning. However the limestone business is growing, probably the only growing sector in the portuguese stone business. Mainly due to the Chinese market, as it craves for beige colour limestone which fortunately Portugal is rich in.
Geographically, portuguese marbles can be found mainly in the central and southern part of Portugal. The northern part is dominated by granite.
The Alentejo area, around Estremoz is one of the most active in extracting stone, mainly working white, pinkish white, grayish white, and dark grey colours.
Near Lisbon, Pero Pinheiro, also a traditional spot for marble, the site is not booming, nevertheless it's a stone workers town. In this area you can find beige, grey, yellow and red marble.
Near Porto de Mos, you'll find the most booming stone business of the country, mostly beige colours in this area, limestones especially.
As said before this industry has been in decline, being that the beige limestone from Porto de Mos, is at the moment the most sold in quantity, as the price is relatively low and the quality is very good.
The pink and the white colours from Alentejo are the most expensive and valued by the markets.
For more information you can contact the Portuguese stone association at:
The stone fairs in Portugal are normally small, but the most important dedicated specifically to stone is the Pedra in Exposalão Batalha - every 2 years.
For additional information, I have a blog dedicated to engineered stone, but sometimes post things about natural stone, to visit just link.