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Discovering Romanesque in Northern Portugal

Associação de Municípios do Vale do Sousa CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

It was in the 11th and 12th centuries that the Romanesque style settled in Portugal. The Northern region of Portugal is rich in monuments that bear witness to the Romanesque style. Monasteries, churches, chapels, memorials, castles, towers and bridges make up the array of Romanesque monuments.

Viana do Castelo is an excellent place to begin your journey. In the historical district, you will find the imposing Cathedral of Santa Luzia. Dare to climb the hill and enjoy the stunning views of the Lima River, the sea, the mountains and Viana do Castelo’s traditional houses.

If heading in the direction of Caminha, you will find the São Pedro de Varais Chapel, built in the 13th Century. With a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque, the parish church of Monção also has a regional touch.

Melgaço should not be left out of this Romanesque roadmap. The São Salvador de Paderne Church, the Nossa Senhora da Orada Chapel, the Santa Maria de Fiães Church and the Matriz de Castro Laboreiro Church all bear witness to this architectural style.

But it is not just the monuments that make up this trip. This region is home to the “Vinho Verde”, and there is nothing better than taking a break to relax and sample a cup. Pair it with ham, or even a plate of fish.

Shad, lamprey, cod, pork, trout or the well-known “papas de sarrabulho”. The menu is extensive and you will regret not staying a few more days to enjoy all of this region’s delicacies and charm.

It is curious, the harmony between nature, fresh and verdant landscapes and the architectural features of the Romanesque monuments that are so important to Portugal’s history.

Memories. History and stories in every corner of the monasteries, churches, chapels, bridges, castles and towers that adorn the already amazing landscapes of this region of Northern Portugal.

Strong and imposing monuments. Buildings with unique architectural features and cultural wealth beyond measure.

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