When urban geology meets cultural tourism
The region of Algarve (Southern Portugal) has a rich geological history, whose testimonies are the different rock types, their structures and the fossils. These can be found not only in the countryside, in quarrels or in the cliffs, but also in the towns, in the building-stones of monuments, other edifices or pavements. The state and the way of weathering of the stones informs about their exposition and durability. By observing the stones, they can tell us about their origin and age.
Joining this history with the history of the buildings and their art, and knowing (or presuming) the local of the provenience of the building material, it is possible to get a more complete image of the whole context, including, for instance, the transport possibilities. If there are any “exotic” stones, that is to say stones whose origin was far from the visited site, we may take conclusions about trading connections in the country or even overseas.
The inclusion of Urban Geology in the usual paths of cultural tourism will enrich the touristic offer of a town. It is aimed to people with historical and scientific interest and can be participated by persons with reduced mobility. The stones and eventually the fossils can be observed in the town during the whole year, at any weather, without the need of pollutant cross-country vehicles or long and exhausting walking-tours. Therefore, Urban Geology is a very interesting complement of the Cultural Tourism in the Algarvian towns.
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