“Caminho dos Monges” Route is a 42 km long path that runs between Lamego and Tarouca.
Walking this path is to experience the entrepreneurial spirit of the monks of the Cistercian Order, that transform the region, acting as important agents of the landscape shaping, cultivating land and vineyards, and creating a unique historical and monumental heritage.
"São João de Tarouca" Monastery
Founded in the 12th century, this was the first monastery of the Cistercian Order in Portuguese territory.
It's located near the Varosa river, because it was a condition of the Cistercian Order that all the constructions had to be built next to water courses.
The front of the monastery, rebuilt in the 17th century, keeps an 1152 inscription, that is the date of the beginning of its construction.
At Casa da Tulha, a old barn, you can visit the interpretative center of the monastery and see a three-dimensional reconstruction of it.
"São João de Tarouca" monastery is surprising for its facades and interiors, and it is one of the most visited places in the region.
Romanesque bridge of "São João de Tarouca"
The second point on this route, is the Romanesque Bridge of "São João de Tarouca", which amazes anyone with its landscape, with the hills and the river.
It is another example of the Romanesque style. It has a single arch, is built in granite, and its stones tell the story of the Cistercian monks responsible for its construction.
Here, it's possible to see small waterfalls, windmills, and some terraces that surround the path ahead and make a unique landscape.
Romanesque bridge of "Mondim da Beira"
Built between the 13th and 14th centuries, with Romanesque and Gothic architecture, the "Mondim da Beira" bridge has two arches, reaching its highest point at the intersection of the largest arch.
The bridge is located on the medieval road that connected "Mondim da Beira" village to "São João de Tarouca" village.
Around it there is a small leisure park, and a river beach, ideal for the hottest summer days.
This small monument is a memorial arch from the 12th and 13th century.
According to bibliographical sources, there were initially three arches, but two of them disappeared over the years.
For some people, this arch is associated with the passage of a funeral procession, being a funerary monument built for the grave of Diogo Anes, which in 1175 was the owner of the land.
For others, it is a monumental landmark that was built to demarcate the limits of the "São João de Tarouca" monastery.
"Morro da Alcâcima"
At the top of the city is the "Morro de Alcácima", where the medieval castle once stood.
Here you can enjoy privileged views of the entire city, and the valley landscapes.
It is a leisure space for the whole family, with a viewpoint, a church, an organic garden, various animals, such as birds and peacocks, a children's playground, an open-air gym, and various tables for a picnic under the shade of the surrounding trees.
Dalvares "Casa do Paço"
The "Casa do Paço de Dalvares", has its origins in the Middle Ages, and once belonged to D. Egas Moniz, who passed it to his descendents.
Visiting the "Casa do Paço" is a good starting point to get to know the town, and the best that the region has to offer.
Here, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a visit through "Murganheira" Sparkling Wine Museum, a national reference of wines and sparkling wines.
Ucanha, is a small village in Tarouca.
One of its major touristic point is the fortified bridge over the Varosa river, built during the 14th and 15th centuries, with the particularity of having a associated tower.
The tower was built in 1465 by initiative of the abbot of the Monastery of Santa Maria de Salzedas, D. Fernando. Its function was to collect the passage from all who wanted to cross the river.
By order of the abbot, a hospital was also erected in 1472 nearby the bridge, to help the poors and travelers.
"Santa Maria de Salzedas" Monastery
It was one of the largest Cistercian monasteries in Portugal, owner of vast surrounding lands, with the obligation to cultivate and populate them.
Its construction started in 1155, right after the donation of the land by Egas Moniz and his wife, Teresa Afonso.
It was consecrated in 1255, when the monastic complex was completed.
The church with large dimensions, stands out in the middle of the homogeneous houses of the small village that was formed to the east.
"São Pedro de Balsemão" Chapel
São Pedro de Balsemão chapel is the oldest of all the monuments in Lamego, and according to some historians, the second oldest in the Iberian Peninsula.
Its Swedish-Visigothic origin dates back to the 7th century, to the time of Sisebuto (Visigothic king that even minted coins in Lamego).
The Chapel, of rare historical and archaeological value, preserves much of its original architecture and the mysterious atmosphere of distant times of the past.
The exterior and interior of the Cathedral of Lamego have architectural styles from various eras.
The cathedral started to be built in 1159 over an old chapel dedicated to "São Sebastião", raised a few decades earlier.
In 1175 it was consecrated and dedicated to "Santa Maria" and "São Sebastião".
Of original Romanesque architecture, this monument surprises all its visitors with a sense of unique beauty and indescribable monumentality.
Lamego's Museum was founded in 1917, after the implantation of the Republic and the nationalization of the church properties.
The museum is located in the old Episcopal Palace building, which was rebuilt in the 18th century by the bishop Manuel de Vasconcelos Pereira.
This museum offers you the possibility to see authentic national treasures and relics from beautiful collections.
At the highest point of the city is the Castle built by the Moors.
In the 12th century it was used as a lookout point and defense.
The tower (12th century), with twenty meters high, had its front side changed in the 16th century to have windows, by order of the last Count of Marialva, D. Francisco Coutinho. The Cistern (13th century), was transformed into an exhibition space, where you are invited to discover the city's past.
"Nossa Senhora dos Remédios" Sanctuary
The first chapel of "Nossa Senhora dos Remédios" sanctuary, was ordered to be built by Bishop D. Durando, in 1361, and it was dedicated to "Santo Estêvão".
Two centuries later, the chapel was replaced by another one, with an image of "Nossa Senhora dos Remédios" that was brought from Rome.
In 1750 the Sanctuary started to be built, and was only completed in 1905.
The climb to the Sanctuary, with its 686 steps of the baroque staircase, is surrounded by the mystical Park of "Santo Estevão", and the beautiful sculptural works.