Trás-os-Montes: Built historical and cultural Heritage

From the vestiges of Roman occupation to the medieval buildings, Trás-os-Montes offers a rich built heritage, which alone makes it worth a visit to the region.

Associação de Turismo do Porto CC BY-NC-SA

Associação de Turismo do Porto CC BY-NC-SA


Why go

  • Gastronomy and Wines
  • Heritage
  • History

Known for medicinal waters

Visit the one that was one of the most flourishing Roman cities of the Iberian Peninsula. Chaves, or Aquae Flaviae, was known by the centurions for its medicinal waters that spring from the earth at 73 ° C.

From that time survived the imperial baths of the Emperor Flavius ​​Vespasiano, but also the beautiful Roman bridge over the Tâmega, which still connects the two parts of the city.

Spa fan or not you will enjoy the Spa Park, where there are several bars and cafes and young people.

In the medieval center, notice the picturesque houses decorated with iron balconies of Direita Street. This street will lead you to the castle, where you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the city and surroundings.

What to do

  • Experience the healing spawaters of Chaves (
  • Visit the villages of the municipality of Montalegre
  • Watch the dances of Pauliteiros in Miranda do Douro

In the centre of Chaves, lurk also Misericórdia Church, with a beautiful portico and the interior lined with Baroque paintings of tiles with scenes from the life of Christ and the forts of S. Francisco - where the buildings of a convent of the XVI century were transformed into a luxury hotel - and S. Neutel.

Take the opportunity to taste the ham of Chaves, one of the specialties of the county and of the region.

Stage of adultery and royal lovelessness

The entrance to the citadel of Bragança, surrounded by a medieval wall is made ​​by the Port Vila where a picture of D. Fernando, second Duke of Bragança, welcomes us. The view from the castle leaves anyone overwhelmed.

In the 15 towers around it, there is special meaning to the Princess Tower. They say there wept D. Sancha, sister of Afonso Henriques, the infidelities of her husband, the powerful Fernão Mendes, and was incarcerated D. Leonor, wife of the fourth Duke of Bragança, accused of adultery and that the enraged husband would have stabbed her in the palace of Vila Viçosa.

The impressive castle houses the Military Museum, which tells the story of the old castle and hides on the top floor, a wonderful view over the beautiful landscape of Trás-os-Montes.

What you need to know

  • The Military Museum of Bragança is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9h to 12h and from 14h to 17h, and has free entry on Friday morning
  • You can book your spa treatment in the Imperador Spa through a form available in site website of the Spa of Chaves.

Still in the castle, watch the curious pig based on a pillory and natural stone and the singular Municipalis Domus, where in medieval times met the Senate hall.

Outside the citadel, Bragança, which is a lively and welcoming city, also offers history. Pay attention to the numerous palaces of the old nobility.

Community Villages

Outside the major cities, there are still communities that share the common good of all. Entire villages that share the wood stove, the floor, the mill, pasture and cattle breeding, since before the Romans had come to this territory. And where pastoralism remains a source of wealth.

Visit the villages of the municipality of Montalegre, near Chaves, and those of Guadramil and Rio de Onor in Montesinho Natural Park, and Pitões das Junias, the Peneda-Gerês National Park and see for yourself how this unique social heritage resisted progress.

Rio de Onor is the best preserved village in the Montesinho Natural Park and its inhabitants speak a very old dialect: it is half Portuguese and half Spanish. Why? Because, oddly enough, this village is shared with Spain the Spanish halfed is called Rihonor de Castilla.

In Guadramil - as in France and Montesinho - you can admire the traditional home of granite with slate roof and hear about the practice of transhumance.In the vicinity of Pitões das Junias, a real treasure, you will find small waterfalls to cool off and a Cistercian monastery in the middle of the landscape. In the village, there are still traditional crafts. Take a souvenir of a handmade pair of wool socks.

 As you will confirm, it is impossible to resist the gastronomy, whose products include, for example, Montesinho honey and Mirandese beef.

You will like

  • To know the friendly city of Chaves and its rich heritage
  • To visit Miranda do Douro, known for its lively and colorful folklore, which brings out the Pauliteiros, and the Mirandês, a language spoken only in this region

Pauliteiros and bagpipes

In Miranda do Douro, a town surrounded by the Douro International Natural Park, watch the dances of Pauliteiros, heritage of the Celtic occupation of the region during the Iron Age that is accompanied by a touch of harmonica-of-pipe. Also listen to Mirandês, unique in Portugal, a dialect spoken only in this region.

Miranda has Celtic roots, was occupied by the Romans and named in the eighth century by the Arabs of Mir Andul. And these legacies are present not only in the local culture, but also in the built.

Pay attention to the remains of the castle D. Afonso Henriques, first king of Portugal, theres still a part of the citadel and a few stretches of the wall - and the church of Santa Maria Maior, which for nearly two centuries had the rank of cathedral, giving Miranda a great importance in the region.

How to get there

To Porto, there are low cost flights, for example, from London (Stansted and Gatwick), Paris (Beauvais, Orly, Vatry e Charles de Gaulle), Marseille, Lille, Tours, St. Etienne, Bologna, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Madrid, Barcelona El Prat, Tenerife, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca.

In the summer, there are low cost flying from Liverpool, Las Palmas, Carcassonne, Rodez and Nantes.

With normal rates, there are flight connections from London - Gatwick, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris - Orly.

From the International Airport Francisco Sá Carneiro, the best way to reach the city center of Porto is by metro. The trip takes about 30 minutes.

From Porto, take the A4 towards Amarante and then take the IP4 toward Bragança, in the heart of Trás-os-Montes.

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