caves of Sao Vicente
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The caves of São Vicente were formed by a volcanic eruption 890 thousand years ago at Paúl da Serra. |
As the lava came down to the sea, the outer portion was exposed to lower temperatures and solidified rapidly, while inside, the lava continued to flow with many gases and created a series of lava tubes that form the caves of São Vicente, which one can walk through.
This set of eight “volcanic tunnels” extends for a distance of more than 1000 metres, with maximum heights varying between 5 and 6 metres. It is the largest known cave system on Madeira Island.
The volcanic activity has been extinct for millennia, but the last period of eruptions, in which the fused lava reached a temperature of 1200ºC, left marks that can be seen along the nearly 700 metres of subterranean trails that were excavated to gain access to the various tubes or natural channels that make up the 1000 metres of caverns.
This excavated trail drops a maximum of about 19 metres in relation to the entrance.
The caves were first reported in 1885 by the local population, whose curiosity was awakened by the cave opening.
Amazed by what they found, the news of the discovery spread very quickly, and Englishman James Yates Johnson carried out a study and drew up an integrated project for its use.
These caves were inaugurated on 1 October 1996.
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- [2009-01-26 16:53]
A nice scene, light coaming throught the caves is very beautiful, a great shot.