Capelinhos Volcano

Volcano in The Azores
Image by Roman Sulla / Shutterstock
Image by Roman Sulla / Shutterstock

The underwater volcano that erupted in spectacular fashion off the island of Faial in 1957 afforded scientists a unique opportunity to study a rare geological phenomenon from the moment of its birth to the day it fell dormant.

What they have learned is explained in great detail at the Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre. Designed by architect Nuno Ribeiro Lopes, the centre occupies the ground floor of the now defunct, but still accessible, lighthouse.

The centre’s displays and exhibits tell the story not just of this volcano, whose 13-month-long eruption prompted half of the island’s population to emigrate to America, but also of the tectonic forces shaping the Azores’ extraordinary landscape.