The Discovery

How it all began...

Discovery History

The Grutas da Moeda are located in S. Mamede, municipality of Batalha, just 2 km from Fátima and 15 km from Batalha.
Its discovery took place in 1971, by two hunters who were chasing a fox that had taken refuge in an sinkhole that existed in the middle of the forest. Moved by curiosity, they entered and discovered its natural beauty, with galleries filled with countless limestone formations. For several months the site was explored by the two men, allowing the discovery of several galleries that would prove to be of scientific and tourist interest and that are now part of the cave's visitable area. Subsequently, a team of geologists and speleologists confirmed their scientific interest, and since this phase and until today, there has been a deep concern for the rigorous preservation of the cave and the entire surrounding area. Names were given to each of the rooms and galleries, suggesting different images: Lago da Felicidade, Sala do Presépio, Pastor, Cascata, Red Dome, Maritime, Imperfect Chapel, Red Vault and Fonte das Lágrimas. The visitable extension of the Grotto is 350 meters and its depth is 45 m below the entrance level. The temperature is around 18º C, remaining constant all year.

“Lenda da Moeda” (Legend relating to the name of the Coin Cave)

According to tradition, in ancient times, a wealthy man in this area, when passing through a wood, around a cave, was assaulted by a gang of criminals who tried to plunder the purse of coins he wore at his waist. With the confusion of the robbery, the man fell into the cave, taking with him the purse of coins so coveted by the robbers. Coins were scattered across the precipice and irretrievably lost, giving the algar the name by which it is still known today - Algar da Moeda.

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