Viana do Castelo

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Situated next to the border with Spain, separated by the lovely river Minho, Monção village has been occupied by man since pre-historical times, and its foundation is even enveloped in legends and myths.

In 404 b.C. the Celts conquered Monção and baptized it as “Obobriga”, later in 40 a.C. Monção was already an important Roman locality, named “Mamia”. Monção was then occupied by the Suevi in 410 a.C and named “Orosion”, and from that translated in latin as “Mons Sanctus”, from where derived the actual “Monção”.

With the foundation of the Portuguese Kindgonm, Monção becomes an important defensive point, for its proximity with the border, as it is still visible by what is left of the Castle’s walls. In fact, during all Middle Age and afterwards periods, Monção was stage of several fights, many of them having Women as protagonists, like Deu-La-Deu Martins, D. Mariana de Lencastre Condessa de Castelo Melhor and Helena Peres.

Several monuments denote the rich history of Monção, like the Romanesque Mother Church from the 12th century or the Misericórdia and Santo António dos Capuchos Church, or the Military Fortress, or even the many manor houses and small palaces throughout the region, like the amazing Brejoeira Palace or the Rodas House.
One of the most famous and pleasant highlight in Monção is its Spa (“Estância Termal”), integrated next to the Minho river, in a charming relaxing green space.

Monção has also a very rich and traditional gastronomy, specially its roasted goat-kid, the saffron’s rice, and the famous sausages and smoked ham in Lordelo.

One of the main products of the region is the famous wine Alvarinho, the most noble grape variety of this type of wine. The climate of this region, along with the granite soils where vineyards grow climbing up the mountain, combine the perfect conditions for this type of wine, and it was from the Monção region that Portugal exported the very first wine with destination to England.
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