Castanheira de Pêra

Leiria

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Castanheira de Pêra

Castanheira de Pêra is a lovely village from the Central region of the Country, situated in the heart of the wonderful Lousã Mountain range, surrounded by a impressive natural beauty, inserted in the great drainage basin of the Zêzere river.

Throughout the Castanheira de Pêra region there are several viewpoints from where one has lovely panoramas, like the Cabeça do Pião Viewpoint.

The origins of the village are associated to the Peralta legend, thus with no official confirmation. Nevertheless this territory has been occupied by men since ancient times, maintaining its rural environment throughout the centuries, only affected by the proliferation of textile industries: from 1864 to 1879 there were eleven woollen factories in Castanheira de Pêra.

The beauty of the Lousã Mountain celebrates the landscape of Castanheira de Pêra, offering many highlights such as the 18th century Mother Church or the many manor houses that show off the economical importance of the textile industries in the past centuries.

One of the main highlights in the village is the Santo António da Neve Chapel, from where one has an astonishing landscape, where are located the three “snow well”, covered with a stone ceiling. Originally they were seven wells and were used for spilling snow inside without being damaged by the sun, so that the snow would be intact. The snow would go to Lisboa during warmer periods, to fulfil the Royal needs.

Throughout the region there are several areas with a privileged contact with nature, like the Espelo de Água Fluvial Swimming Pools, built in schist, the Poço Corga Fluvial Beach or the wonderfull Pena river Valley that also has astonishing water falls.
Quite famous is the Rocas Fluvial Beach, using the waters of the Pena river, transformed into a leisure and fun complex with a pond of almost 1km wide.


Princess Peralta’s Legend
It is said that Princess Peralta run away from Conímbriga in 72b.C., taking refuge in the Arouce Castle, in Lousã.
The Princess fell in love with a Roman Warrior, Sertório, and decided to depart to Sertago to meet him.
Arriving to the place where nowadays is Castanheira de Pêra, the Princess chambermaid’s passed away. The Princess Peralta ordered that she was buried in that place.
The Princess was being chased by Venus, the Goddess, that was also inlove with Sertório and, angry, sent a lightning that transformed instantly the Princess companions into mountains and Peralta into a beautiful mermaid that lived thereafter in the Mountain’s water courses.
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