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Monsanto

Monsanto
By Tania Tanner

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TP 201808 Global 02

The adventurous and hidden places in the world are always attractive for people with the sleepless spirit who like discovering new places around the globe. If you are one of them, then the city of Monsanto in Portugal is the perfect place for your adventure. Monsanto is a village, situated in the region of Idanha-a-Nova with the total area of 13,176 km2. The city is surrounded by the same mountain at 758 meters above the sea level.

 

The village of Monsanto is famous as the most ethnic Portuguese village in the country. However, the most exciting thing about Monsanto is its location, which is between the magical granitic boulders. The place is historical with many traces from different eras, Paleolithic being one of them. The story of the city is abundant with various conquerors who were fighting for this magnificent place. The village holds traces of Roman civilization as well as of Arabian and Visigoth occupation. Among first kings of the village, we can mention King Afonso Henriques (1165), King Sancho I (1190) and King Afonso III (1217).

TP 201808 Global 03The ancient spots of Monsanto are generally in good state, preserved in the atmosphere of tranquility and love. As you come to the village, the first impression you have will be fascinating as you could see the whole village from the bulwark, which is used as the parking spot. The first sightseeing spot you should visit is Mother Church from the 15th century, the masterpiece of Roman art. This church is filled with different images, altars, and carvings.

 

Other popular sites in Monsanto are Old Wine Cellar (Antiga Aldeia), Merry Church (Igreja da Misericodia) and Clock Tower (Torre de Relogio). When you stop in front of Blacksmith Fountain (Fonte do Ferreiro), you will see a plaque saying: 鈥漈he water of the spring quenched many unknown heroes鈥 thirst鈥. If you continue further you will come across the Cave (Gruta), Communial Oven (Forno Communitario) where you can see a magnificent belvedere ( gallery on the open place). However, you will be able to enjoy the beauty of the ancient buildings around Monsanto as Sentry House (Casa do Guarda), Castle, Cistern, The Governors鈥 House and St. Maria de Castelo Church.

 

As for the traditional festivals in Monsanto village, you should know that the most popular occasion takes place on the third of May. We refer to Festival of the Holy Cross, organized in memory of the resistance during the sieges over the long history of the village. On the day of the festival, women take the marathons (dolls) and climb to the top of the castle and throw flowers all around the village.

 

When you come to Monsanto as a tourist you should consider where to stay. We could recommend the picturesque place like Lion House or Cave House, both located within the walls of the village. Both houses are magnificent, old places where you could rest and have a really great time with the incredible view on the small village. You will be impressed by the furniture designed in the nuances of 17th and 18th century.

 

Despite being the small place with an insignificant number of inhabitants, Monsanto has various restaurants, markets, and feasts which you can enjoy during the day. Visit Cafe Monsanto located in Rue de Castelo street or Restaurant Pousada de Monsanto, great places to enjoy traditional Portuguese meals. Enjoy the beauty of the city and you will certainly come back once in your life.

TP 201808 Global 04How to Get to Monsanto

The village of Monsanto is easily accessible, only 12 km from municipality Idanha-a-Velha and 176km away from the city of Porto. If you come in the capital Lisbon then you need about 258km to reach Monsanto. We recommend the train line from Porto to Castelo Branco, where you can change over to the Monsanto direction. The travel time with the train is about 5 hrs while you could also get to Monsanto by bus.

 

Tips

The city of Monsanto should turn out to be an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits this place. That's why you should learn about their customs and interact with people. Visit the handicraft shops and buy some ancient objects which will remind you of the village. Make sure you dedicate enough time to explore the amazing places of Monsanto.

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