Hiking in Castelo Mendo Historical Village (Almeida)
Castelo Mendo is a small village of Beira Interior, located in the municipality of Almeida, Guarda district, belonging to Historic Villages of Portugal. If this wasn’t enough to arouse our curiosity, the village was classified as Property of Public Interest in 1984.
Its medieval characteristics are visible immediately upon our arrival. In spite of being known the occupation of this settlement since the Bronze Age and having vestiges of the Roman presence, the urban model and the walls are a creation of the medieval period, aiming the support and defense of the Christian Reconquest in the 12th and 13th centuries, in the Riba-Côa region.
A kind of an open book where every street is a page turn.
We parked in the park next to “Porta da Vila” (Village Door) and started walking on the cobbled streets. A few meters ahead we found, on the left, the Church of Saint Vincent (or Mercy Church), a building of Romanesque origin dating from the 13th century.
Nearby, in the square, the Pillory with about 7 meters height, built in the 16th century, shows its magnificence to all visitors.
Continuing south, along the main street towards the rocky hill, we arrived at the Castle. Here we were able to identify two areas with distinct functions, a civilian one with the remains of the Church of Our Lady of the Castle and another military one, where the Manor House was once erected.
In the Church we can imagine the religious rituals of this village. We walk carefully inside, where some sinks still remain in a reasonable state of conservation. The landscape are breathtaking from this point and invite us to a pause for contemplation.
We return on the same path, listening to the stories that the stones tell us before we say goodbye. Every corner, every house, in every ruin there is something to discover, legends to tell, stories of impossible love and a monster that made a boy disappear every spring. It is therefore a kind of an open book where every street is a page turn. And many are the pages to unravel.
We finished the walk and went to the next adventure: discover the Historical Center of Sabugal.
Points of Interest: Historical Village, Walls, Church of Saint Vincent, Pillory, Castle, Church of Our Lady of the Castle and Landscapes.
Sources: aldeiashistoricasdeportugal.com and espiritoviajante.com.
37melevation gain uphill
38melevation gain downhill
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