Very close to the border with Spain you can find Monsanto, a town built with and on the stone and which is the most Portuguese village in Portugal.
They are calling her Portugal's most Portuguese Village, but you don't have to go deep into the Portuguese country to get there. Just 25 kilometers after crossing the border through the part of Extremadura, and after crossing the typical pastures of the area, because we change country but the landscape does not change much, there you are perched on the rock to Monsanto.
Monsanto is a Portuguese village that belongs to the council of the village of Idanha-a-Nova, within the so-called Central Region of Portugal. In this area of the Portuguese country, whose best known location is possibly Castelo Branco, today we recommend you visit Monsanto and live the experience of knowing one of those isolated populations that still retains its essence original, and therein lies its charm. The rural, the traditional, also has its audience.
The history of this population perched on a hill, which at its highest point borders 800 meters, is remote, with the presence of the Romans as the first settlers. Because of its location, it was Templar stronghold, who built a castle that was going to witness numerous battles, the last of them being an event during the War of Independence when the gunpowder reserves that were kept in their rooms exploded, leaving the castle useless for its function.
What remains of the castle crowns the town and walking through the remains of walls you can enjoy The best views from Monsanto and the landscape surrounding the village. And since we have started the visit from the top, the next thing we find in our descent to the population the remains of a Romanesque chapel dedicated to San Miguel and old caves dug in the rock and that were once used as a refuge, mainly by the shepherds of the area.
We descend just as, many years ago, the big granite balls that are scattered throughout the hill. The town grew up counting on this situation and the houses and other constructions, all of stone, mimic the environment. As in any small village, we are going to find great monuments but wandering aimlessly in such a population is a pleasure for the senses.
In the thirties, the population won that contest that earned it the nickname of the most Portuguese village in Portugal and in the Clock Tower they wear the award trophy, a typical Portuguese but silver cock. Since then, Monsanto has struggled to maintain its essence although making tourism known, and that has been and is its hallmark.
Photo 1 | Flickr – Pedro
Photo 2 | Flickr – Vitor Oliveira
Portugal Central Region Places of interest #pueblos