Caminha

Viana do Castelo

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Caminha

Caminha is a beautiful town in the North, located by the astonishing mouth of the river Minho, in a place blessed by nature, next to the border with Spain.

The soil in this region is very fertile, with an abundant vegetation, and together with the communication and trading facility of the river Minho, led into the fixation of human population since ancient times. In the region there are several megalithic monuments, as well as testimonies from the Suevi and Roman occupation period, such as roads, bridges and other monuments.

Caminha had a big development from the 12th century onwards, based on fishing and fluvial and maritime trading. Because of its strategically geographic situation, Caminha was an important military point against Spain, and its Port had a great importance up until middle of the 16th century, and nowadays serves the ferry-boat service that links Portugal to Spain, on the opposite river bank.

Several fights and conflicts were held in the region, and even during the 2nd French Invasion, Caminha was attacked by Soult in 1809, and properly defended by the colonel Champalimaud, stopping the entrance of the French in Caminha, a brilliant military strategy considered to be brilliant for the defence of the Portuguese territory.

This historical town, with typical streets and two floor houses, and some manor houses denoting the political and commercial importance of the locality, has many interesting places to be seen, like the astonishing mouth of the river Minho (“foz”). In fact, all the coastal area of Caminha’s municipality has amazing beaches, extensive sandy areas and a unique luminosity.
Right in the middle of the Minho river estuary, in a small island, are located the Ruins of the Ínsua Fort, erected in the 15th century for the defence of the shoal’s entrance, constituted by a convent, a church and a lighthouse.

In the city centre other highlights are worth to be known, like what is left of Caminha’s Castle and the defensive walls, the lovely Mother Church from the 15th century, the Misericórdia Church dating from the 16th century, or the picturesque set of manueline and renaissance houses located on the lovely “Rua Direita”, known as the “oito casas” (“eight houses“), and also one of the town’s symbol: the “Torre do Relógio” (“Watch tower”) that once was the main access to the village, and right in front of it is located a lovely fountain known as “Chafariz do Terreiro”.
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