Portuguese limestone, renowned for its resistance, endurance and versatility finds a distinct place in the international market. Read our guide for more facts and information…
Limestone, a well-known sedimentary rock, is cut into tiles and slabs and is primarily used for flooring and wall cladding. A few regions popular for limestone extraction in Portugal include Maciço Calcário Estremenho, Serra de Sicó, Pêro Pinheiro to the north of Lisbon and the Algarve Basin. Porto de Mós in central Portugal, Moleanos, and Aljuborrota are also important for limestone exploration. Codacal-Porto de Mos situated in Portugal’s Serra D’Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park is known for its limestone. In many regions, limestone is quarried for making ornamental stones. Ornamental use of Portuguese limestone dates back to the Mesozoic era.
Types of Portuguese Limestone
Portugal offers six types of limestone that have popular uses namely Moca Cream, Moleanos, Azul Valverde, Semi Rijo, Fatima and Rosal.
Moca Cream is a sandy fawn-colored limestone with parallel stripes over a uniform background. It is cut in accordance with the vein-like stripes so that the stripes are not visible. It is the ex-libris of Portugal’s limestone.
Moleanos with a lighter beige shade with a gray tone and tiny brown spots scattered over it. Moleanos Blus is a type of Moleanos with a blue background, and it happens to be the best known Portuguese limestone all over the world.
Azul Valverde is a grayish blue limestone with grain-like spots scattered over a uniform background. It is a significant blue limestone from Portugal. Closely related to it, is the Amarelo Valverde which also has a uniform background, but in golden yellow color.
Semi Rijo is renowned internationally for its white color and excellent quality. By nature it is a soft stone, and not suitable for cladding exteriors or for roughly used surfaces. However it finds large scale use where white stones are particularly appealing.
Fatima limestone, though light beige colored, has a whitish tinge with grains of varying sizes scattered over a uniform background. Also known as Crème de Fatima, it is gaining popularity in the world market and is by nature a soft stone.
Rosal is another light beige shaded limestone and has finer grains scattered over a uniform background, with darker shades over some spots. It is moderately hard and useful for interior works and masonry.
Uses of Portuguese Limestone
Portuguese limestone finds extensive use in ornamental interior works, paving paths, flooring and interior and exterior cladding in a wide range of constructions. They are used in residential buildings, commercial complexes, shopping plazas, airports, railway stations and hospitals.
Due to its texture and endurance, Portuguese limestone finds use in traditional fireplaces. As a natural stone fireplace, it portrays power and elegance bringing the entire characteristics of the rock to the interior.