Situated in the heart of the Minho, the municipality of Póvoa de Lanhoso geographically located between the left bank of the river Cávado and the right bank of theriver Ave. They are limited by the districts of Braga, Guimarães, Fafe, Vieira do Minho and Amares.
Braga, the district headquarters, is 15 km from there, Guimarães is 18km and Peneda Gerês National Park 30 km. This privileged situation makes the Land of Lanhoso place of passage and stop for many national and international tourists.
With an area of 130km2 divided into 29 parishes, the county has suffered an economic and enterprise development that has contributed to the restructuring and improvement of its infrastructure, providing visitors with good reception conditions, both social, cultural and economic.
Lanhoso Castle, also known as Castle of Povoa de Lanhoso, is located in the Town and County of Povoa de Lanhoso.
Although heavily damaged, is one of the most imposing castles Portuguese, accounting for the significant mark of 100 000 visitors between 1996 and 2006, a regional emphasis on the tourist trail.
Built on top of Mount Pillar - the largest monolith of Portugal, on the border of the isolated valleys of the rivers Ave and Cávado within its walls a shrine was erected seventeenth century, using the ancient walls of the stone itself. The hillside, their access can be considered vestiges of an ancient fort Romanized. Tradition states that took refuge in the castle twice, D. Theresa, mother of D. Afonso Henriques (1112-1185)..
The Shrine of Nossa Senhora do Pilar is a Marian devotion sanctuary located in Monte du Pilar, very close to the Castro de Lanhoso, in Póvoa de Lanhoso.
It was built by a wealthy merchant one in the middle of the century. XVI, with the dismantling of the stone of the old walls castle.
It has a "Via Sacra" formed by five chapels with sculptures related to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Currently there are three chapels of them that are preserved and are a clear imitation of that exist in the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus.
Vieira do Minho is the second most mountainous county in the district of Braga.
The former Verna (Vieira first name) received a charter of King Manuel I to November 15, 1514.
It occupies an area of 216.2 square kilometers to the north is limited by Braga, Terras de Bouro and Montalegre, the east by Montalegre and Cabeceiras de Basto;south and west by the Fafe and Povoa de Lanhoso. Its population is around 15,000 inhabitants according to the census of 91.
The mountains of Merouço, Gerês and especially Cabreira characteristic and the surrounding landscape, as well as the geographical boundary of the county. Among all is Cabreira that best identifies with the people of this land. Provides pasture for livestock, wood and water that irrigates the fertile valleys and supplies the villages.
Rivers Cávado and Ave nd its tributaries, provide places of great natural beauty. The existing four dams in the county are a major source of wealth for the country, for hydroelectric energy production. The dam is fed by Ermal Ave and was built in 1938. It occupies an area of 163 hectares, capacity of 22 million cubic meters of water, 23.5 miles of perimeter and an average annual production of 95 GWh.
Terras de Bouro is a municipality with 276.17 km2 and 7,365 inhabitants (2009), subdivided into 17 parishes. The municipality is bordered to the north by the municipality of Ponte da Barca and Spain, the east by Montalegre, the south by Vieira do Minho, southwest by Amares and west by Vila Verde.
The name Terras de Bourocomes from the Germanic tribe of the Buri (Buri) that accompanied the Swabians during the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (Galeco) and who settled in the region between the river Cávado and the river Homem is thus known as Terras de Boiro or Bouro. This is a mountain municipality whose population is lost in the memory of the times, as evidenced by the petroglyphs and vestiges of the Bronze Age. The most significant human presence, however, dates back to Roman times, the Gêres thermal water users and builders of Geira (Via Romana).
Visit this area is to contact the vast heritage of their ancestors: the Via Romana, aka Geira, with the highest concentration of landmarks miliaris title of Peninsular Northwest, recognized as a National Heritage and the application stage for World Heritage.
Today, it has become a tourist destination, either by marks of rurality, however stay close to Braga and Porto, and by the cultural heritage, environmental, landscape, spa and religious.
The National Park Peneda-Gerês, is the only national park in Portugal and is located in the far northeast of Minho and extends from the lands of the Serra da Peneda to the Serra do Gerês - hence its name - being cut by two great rivers, the river Lima and the river Cávado. Bordering Galicia, covering the districts of Braga (district of Terras de Bouro), Viana do Castelo (county of Melgaço, Arcos de Valdevez and Ponte da Barca) and Vila Real (district Montalegre) a total area of about 70,290 hectares.
It is one of the greatest natural attractions of Portugal, the rare and stunning natural beauty and ecological value and the variety of wildlife (deer, wild horses, wolves, birds of prey) and flora (pine, yew, chestnut, oak and various medicinal plants) . It stretches from the Serra do Geres, the South, through the mountains of Peneda to the Spanish border.
Includes excerpts from the Roman road linking Braga to Astorga, known as Geira. In the park are located in two important centers of pilgrimage, the Shrine of Nossa Senhora da Peneda, replica of the shrine of Bom Jesus, and São Bento da Porta Aberta, a place of great popular devotion.
The Shrine of São Bento da Porta Aberta has, according to tradition, originated in a chapel built on the site, around 1640, whose doors were always open, to provide shelter to passers by.
The construction of the current sanctuary began in 1880 and was completed in 1895, is characterized by tile panels of the chancel, depicting the life of St. Benedict, as well as the gilded altarpiece.
The large number of pilgrims led to the construction of new facilities near the primitive sanctuary, whose works were completed in 2002, which is part of a ward to care for pilgrims, with 14 bed.
There is also a park with tables and benches, where pilgrims can relax, dine and even fun in a boating lake.
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