The Roman Mining Complex of Tresminas was one of the most important gold mines of the Roman Empire.
The Interpreative Centre of Tresminas (Centro Interpretativo de Tresminas) is located in the village of Tresminas, council of Vila Pouca de Aguiar and it is composed by expositive áreas, both interior and exterior, having a historic, archeological and natural framework with the Roman Mining Complex of Tresminas. The Roman Mining Complex of Tresminas was one of the most importante gold mines of the Roman Empire, specially during 1st and 2nd centuries d.C.. Besides gold, there was also extraction of other minerals, such as silve rand plumb. From that extraction resulted a monumental group constituted by the mineral exploration cuts (“cortas”), at the open sky, and an interesting complex of wells and subterranean galleries. During around eighteen centuries, all this mining heritage remained well preserved, motivating its classification as Public Interest Property (in 1997), and more recently, the classification of some components of the water supply system of the mining zone as Public Interest Monument (in 2012). In 2014 was created the Interpretative Centre of Tresminas, promoted by the Municipality of Vila Pouca de Aguiar, allowing the visitor the contact with the technology used in the Roman time for the maximum gold use. The interaction with the material has its exponent in the exterior area of the Centre, where there are mining mills for crunch an pulverize the mineralized rocks. In the interior of the Centre, there are diferente expositive and multimedia equipments.

Resources needed

The most recent investments reach around 148.000€: equipment for the Centre, creation of touristic information kiosk, merchandising and non-invasive archaeological research of the Roman Mining Complex. The works were funded by PRODER (Rural Development Programme 2007-2014) and ON2 (OP North Region).

Evidence of success

Restoration of buildings and conservation of archaeological findings. Public investments, charging visitors for entry/visit to the Centre and the Mining Complex. Reduced environmental impact (control of the visitors’ flow). There is the involvement of the school community and the local inhabitants. There has been research and publications carried out (archaeology, history and biology). The average number of annual visitors (last 5 years) is of 2820 visitors. Annual income of around 25.000€.

Potential for learning or transfer

It is an Interpretative Centre of an unique historic-cultural heritage, placed in the reference local of the ancient mining complex and it was created reconstructing some building already existing in the village. Its management is ensured by a partnership of the Municipality with a local association (constituted by the actual local Parishes of the influence area of the Mining Complex). The investments have been financed through projects supported by National and European Programmes, being part of the co-finance ensured by the protocol signed by the Municipality and a private company, under the environmental and social compensation measures for the installation of a hydro-electric plants/system in the region. The current operation of the Centre is coordinated by the association, having charges for the entrance and guided visits, both to the Centre and the Roman Mining Complex. Additionally, there is a small shop, in which can be purchased some products.
Main institution
Municipality of Vila Pouca de Aguiar
Norte, Portugal
Start Date
March 2014
End Date


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