This mainly agricultural region has had human occupation since pre-history, with several megalithic monuments throughout the area, and many vestiges of different cultures, like the amazing Roman bridge that crosses the river Lima, with its bulky 15 stone arches.
Ponte de Lima is one of the most ancient villages in Portugal, it received its first charter in 1125 from D. Teresa, the mother of the first king of Portugal (a number of years before the foundation of the Portuguese kingdom).
Its picturesque streets are calm and typical of the region, with a large number of manor houses and small palaces, many of them nowadays converted into pleasant accommodation units, showing the economical importance of the region throughout the centuries, much of it associated to the prestiged Wine production of this region.
The architectural and cultural heritage of this village is quite rich, mainly the one from the Mediaeval Period, and several monuments can be seen, like the 15th century Mother Church, the Cadeia Velha Tower from the 14th century and the São Paulo Tower, integrated in what is left of the village’s walls, the 15th century Santo António Convent, with its lovely Terceiros Museum of Sacred Art, the Misericórdia Church or the lovely 17th century Nossa Senhora da Penha de França Chapel.
Quite famous is the Fair that takes place every 15 days, on Mondays, since 1125, in a wonderful open air space that also houses the “Feiras Novas”, the traditional festivities of Ponte de Lima, with origins on the 12th century, taking place every September.
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