São João da Pesqueira
São João da Pesqueira is a lovely village in the northern region of the Country, located on a place of great natural beauty, among the fertile valleys of the Douro river, in the important Douro Wine Demarcated Region, the producer of the famous Port Wine as well as other prestige wines.
São João da Pesqueira origins date back to even before the foundation of the Portuguese Nationality. The good geographic location, perfect for food collecting with the vast Douro river and the fertile soils, provided for the populations since early times.
The toponym "pesqueira" (concerning to fishing) derivates from the very first community that was developed in this territory. In fact, it is said that the first settlement was developed from a Lusitanian hill fort dated from the Iron Age and also used by Romans.
Throughout the centuries, and with a privileged location on the Douro river bank, São João das Pesqueira developed, and here, some say, inhabited the illustrious Marquis of Pombal, later responsible for the improvement of the wine producing activity in the region.
The natural surrounding landscape presents an astonishing beauty, with the Douro river cutting out the charming schist mountains and valleys where the rural small houses mix together with manor houses of the great wine producers, surrounded by vineyards, almond and olive trees, as one can observe in the lovely Viewpoint over the Valeira Dam or in the São Salvador do Mundo Sanctuary located at 711 meters high, with a set of nine small chapels built a from the 16th century.
São João da Pesqueira is proud of its rich heritage with monuments such as the Mother Church, the Baroque Misericórdia Chapel, the Arco, the clock Tower, the 18th century “arcaria” which once was the local market, the lovely town hall building and ancient jail dated from the 19th century where now is located the interesting Eduardo Tavares Museum.
Other interesting monuments are worth to be mentioned, such as the São Francisco Convent and the many manor Houses that proudly show off the region’s richness provided by the fertile soils and by the important wine industry, such as the Casa do Cabo, the Sidrô Estate Palace or the Pintos Manor House.
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