The Centre for Studies in Culture, History, Arts and Heritage – CECHAP –, headquartered in Vila Viçosa, is a private non-profit association formed on June 19, 2011 by individual and collective members.

The association has a national scope, defined by a policy of decentralization in the areas of culture, history, arts and diverse heritage, thus ensuring a universal coverage of its activities.

CECHAP seeks to sensitize, safeguard, promote and disseminate cultural potential and the tangible and intangible heritage of local communities, in a perspective of cooperation with other entities.

The members of this centre’s Scientific Council have recognized merit and are experts from different scientific areas who can contribute to the academic support of the projects developed here.



The Marble Portal is the result of a STUDY in development, whose mission is to survey, analyse, preserve and make available information produced by research, existing in different supports in public and private libraries and its documental fund on Heritage and History of the Marble Industry (PHIM). In order to meet the needs of the general audience, of the ornamental rock sector and the scientific community, the PORTAL provides all the information gathered on the region of the Marbles Anticlinal, comprising the geography of the municipalities of Alandroal, Borba, Estremoz, Sousel and Vila Viçosa.

The Documentation and Information Centre of the PHIM brings together information since the 16th century on the history and heritage of ornamental stones and, in particular, of the Alentejo marbles, collected from documental and bibliographic sources.

Among the main objectives of the Marble Portal are:

  • The promotion of the Alentejo sub-region called the Marbles Zone, valuing the importance of the endogenous product (marble) in the application of architecture, sculpture and urbanism;
  • The preservation of intangible heritage: data collection, treatment and safeguarding of memories inherited from the pre-industrial and industrial activity of former players as a way of recording the history of experiences, customs and practices of the marble quarries, construction sites and processing units in the municipalities where the sector had, and still has, greater activity;
  • The contribution to the preservation and transmission of memories to the new generations, keeping alive the origin of this activity;
  • Contributing a working tool to the development of future works and public policy in the geographic area covered by this study;
  • Making available a set of information, which can be consulted through this web interface, relating to geography, place names, archaeological findings, quarries, manufacturing and exportation, industry actors, companies, cartography, architecture of monuments and urban space, the evolution of techniques, the transportation of resources, the crafts and the arts of cutting and carving marble, to the memories left by the previous industry players.