A day in Amarante

Casa da Calçada - 26

During our stay at Casa da Calçada (see) we had the chance to get to know the small, but idyllic, town of Amarante with its majestic landscapes.

I remember when I was in college I had more than one colleague from this town, but I never got the chance to see it. My mistake, I didn’t know what I was missing!

Amarante belongs to the district of Porto, has around 11 thousand residents and is bathed by the Tâmega River.

We only had one day to discover the city and it transformed into a wonderful experience.

Amarante - 8m

We started by the beautiful São Gonçalo Church, once I had spent the last night watching it from the window of my room at Casa da Calçada and I was anxious to cross it !

It is thought that its was a former  Roman bridge, however, its construction, or reconstruction, is attributed to the pious Gonçalo de Amarante, around the year 1250. Five centuries later it didn’t survive the Tâmega River floods and in 1809 it suffered its greatest struggle: the resistance and the heroic deffense against the Napoleon troops during the Second French Invasion! These were tough people!

This example of history and art is classified as National Monument since 1910.

Amarante - 9

We continued our discovery of the city and after crossing the bridge we arrived at the Church and Convent of São Gonçalo.

Saint Gonçalo, or prious Gonçalo, as considered by the Catholic Church, came from a noble family and studied to be a priest, after that he decided to go discover the world with his peregrination through Rome and Jerusalem, but when he arrived to his home town, Vizela, his nephew had already stolen his place as priest (family is the worst!) and he decided to go the margins of Tâmega where he preached the gospel and stayed where nowadays Amarante is located, around the XIII century, in a hermitage he built himself, on the spot of the current São Gonçalo Church.

However, the works only started in 1543, during the kingdom of João III, being finished just around the XVIII century, with some interventions in the XX century.

This religious architecture example combines more than one style, Renaissance, Baroque, Mannerist and Oitocentista.

Amarante - 6

It has a wonderful façade, with an imposing king’s balcony and the porch that represents different religious figures; on the inside, highlight to the pipe organ and the grave of São Gonçalo.

On with our trip around the city, walking by the nice alleys, filled with traditional stores and full of tradition, but also with some “stupid” stores, but with those I don’t waste much of my attention!

Amarante - 5

To finish our visit to the city, we decided to go to Confeitaria da Ponte, this preciousness, open since 1930, serves the best convent sweets in the region and also presents us with a majestic view over the Tâmega, right next to São Gonçalo Bridge.

Amarante - 2

It was a different day, getting to know our Portugal, our towns and realizing we don’t have to leave the country to be amazed with landscapes, with food and people, we have everything here, very close to us, we just have to go and discover!

Amarante - 1

For those who wish to spend more days in the city of Amarante, this land has much more to offer, for example, the São Domingos Church and the Sacred Art Museum, right next to São Gonçalo Church, the São Pedro Church, the Solar dos Magalhães, a building from the XVIII century, in ruins, the Forest Park of Amarante, the Municipality Museum Amadeo de Souza Cardoso; and for the most active, you can always choose to discover the nature with the pedestrian trails; the Golf Camp, the Aquatic Park of Amarante or do a small getaway to Douro.

There is much to discover, you just have to go!

Amarante - 3

Amarante and Casa da Calçada are a small, unmissable, delight!

Versão Portuguesa

Text: Cíntia Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.