Amarante

Place of the international debut of MIMO Festival, the charming Amarante is a district of Porto and is located in the north of Portugal. Distinguished for its cultural heritage and its intense tourist flow, the city is known for its beautiful houses, ancient churches and the production of the appreciated green wine. As a true paradise that balances modernity and tradition on the banks of Tâmega River, it is a place with a strong historical heritage and the birthplace of great personalities such as Teixeira de Pascoaes and Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, besides having become the home of São Gonçalo (1187-1259) and having a magnificent church and convent. With a lively, poetic, literary, architectural and musical soul, Amarante breathes culture and is the meeting point between places, people, languages, nature… between love and art.

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São Pedro Church

In Baroque style, it was built by the Brotherhood of São Pedro in the old chapel of S. Martinho and finished in 1727. It stands out, above all, for the verticality of the facade of the tower, crowned by a spire and the papal cross. The portal, of straight lintel, is crowned by ornaments, which form part of a box, while at the end of the lateral bodies of the facade, the visitor can see São Pedro and São Paulo images. The main stone chapel is of the master António Gomes, the main altarpiece was carved by José de Fonseca e Lima, while the gold of the gallery was made by Manuel de Queirós and João Manuel de Sousa. Inside, with a single nave, gilded wood elements exceeded the altars to cover the triumphal arch. The temple is covered by a 17th-century tiled ashlar, in yellow and blue, and a vault with paintings of neoclassical motifs.

Address: Largo de São Pedro, Amarante.

Visiting hours: From 14:00 to 17:00.

 

São Domingos Church

Built in the first half of the 18th century by the Third Order of São Domingos and finished in 1725, it is next to São Gonçalo Church from where visitors can enjoy breath-taking views. With a Baroque facade, its interior has complex details decorated with golden sculptures, which refer to the Rococo, and an altar with the image of Nosso Senhor dos Aflitos in the centre. Currently, it houses the Museum of Sacred Art of Amarante.

Address: Rua Bairro de Santa Clara
4600-080, Amarante.

Visiting hours: Changeable.

 

Museum of Sacred Art of Amarante

Museum of Sacred Art, installed in São Domingos Church, it is under the responsibility of the parish of São Gonçalo and gives visibility to the wealth of the city’s religious heritage. Divided into two floors, it has five themed rooms that feature decorative arts, paintings and important artefacts: a garment and liturgical implements room, a decorative arts room, a painting and art gallery room, an imaginary room of the 16th and 17th centuries and an imaginary room of the 19th century.

Address: Rua Bairro de Santa Clara
4600-080, Amarante.

Visiting hours:

Summer

  • Tuesday: 14:30-17:00
  • Wednesday: 14:30-17:00
  • Thursday: 14:30-17:00
  • Friday: 14:30-17:00
  • Saturday: 16:30-18:30

Winter

  • Saturday: 10:00-12:30

 

São Gonçalo Bridge

One of the main attractions of the city, São Gonçalo Bridge is located on the Tâmega River and it is believed that its existence is prior to the arrival of São Gonçalo to the region, since it was an ancient Roman bridge that, passing through Amarante, connected the two banks of the river between Braga and Guimarães. During the 18th century, it is believed that the construction would have been carried out by São Gonçalo who collected alms resources for this purpose and, after collapsing due to a flood, in 1763, it was restored. In 1809 it became a symbol of the Portuguese resistance after being the scene of battles against Napoleonic troops’ advance and has been preserved with the same appearance since then, with its 50 meters long, Baroque obelisks and epigraphic inscriptions related to the construction of the bridge and the heroic episode of resistance to the French invasion.

Address: Av. Gen. Silveira, Amarante, Portugal.

 

Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum

Founded in 1947 by Albano Sardoeira, the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum was created with the objective of gathering materials on local history and honouring artists and writers born in Amarante such as António Carneiro, Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Manuel Monterroso, Paulino António Cabral, Teixeira de Pascoaes, Augusto Casimiro, Agustina Bessa Luís, Alexandre Pinheiro Torres and other people that contributed to the construction of Portuguese Modernism. Located in one of the cloisters of the convent of São Gonçalo, the space maintains the archaeological and artistic memory of the city with its permanent exhibition and receives temporary exhibitions, in addition to organizing the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Award that biannually embraces the most diverse artistic expressions.

Address: Alameda Teixeira de Pascoaes – 4600-011 Amarante.

Visiting hours: WINTER (October 1 to May 31) from 09:30 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:30 | Latest admissions: from 12:00 and 17:00.

SUMMER (June 1 to September 30) from 10:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 18:00 | Latest admissions: 12:00 and 17:30.

Closed on Mondays, holidays and municipal holiday (July 8).

 

Parque Florestal de Amarante 

On the banks of the Tâmega River, the Parque Florestal de Amarante began to take shape in 1916 at the initiative of António do Lago Cerqueira (former mayor). With more than 5 hectares of land, it is an essential part of the reforestation movement of Serra do Marão and Serra da Meia Vida, where thousands of trees have already been planted during the 20th century. Currently, the place is very visited, especially in summer, both for leisure activities and strolls, as well as walks and sports. In the Parque Florestal de Amarante we can find species of fauna and flora, such as Gingko, known as the oldest tree in the world.

Address: Rua das Carvalhinhas 167, 4600-758 Amarante, Portugal.

 

Solar dos Magalhães 

Given to the municipality of Amarante by Joaquim Ferreira Torres, it is one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Built in the 17th century and belonging, at that time, to an important local family, the two-floor house of the seventeenth century was burnt down by the French troops during the invasion of 1809. From its original structure, only the ruins of its exterior walls are preserved. It is a symbol and testimony of the resistance and fight against French invasions.

Address: Largo de Santa Luzia, 4600-758 Amarante, Portugal.

 

Centro Cultural de Amarante – Maria Amélia Laranjeira

Centro Cultural de Amarante Maria Amélia Laranjeira was founded on December 3, 1981 by Maria Amélia Laranjeira, with the intention of being a link between the population and its associates, allowing the creation and execution of projects aimed at education and social training. With modern school and cultural equipment, it was opened again in 2008 as a space for artistic education specialized in music and dance, giving even more life to the historic building of the late forties, where it is installed, and a voice for educational development.

Address: Rua Nova 112 S. Gonçalo – 4600 – 093 Amarante.

 

Amarante Thermal Baths

With a privileged location near the historic centre of the city, the thermal spa was built on the banks of the Tâmega River and is equipped with the latest recovery and hydro massage pools. Aimed at the treatment of respiratory and musculoskeletal diseases, in addition to the methods dedicated to wellness, the thermal baths have a daily capacity of about 60 people in respiratory treatments and 50 in balneotherapy. “The first important historical reference to the medicinal mineral waters of Amarante appears in Aquilégio Medicinal by Francisco da Fonseca Henriques, in 1726. In 1895 the first license for the concession of the thermal spa in Amarante was assigned, which passed to the municipal council in 1968. In 2013, the mayor of Amarante, José Luís Gaspar, put forward the project for the construction of the thermal baths. On September 30, 2016 the first stone of the work now inaugurated was placed.

Address: 4600-758 Amarante, Portugal.

Visiting hours: Monday to Sunday, from 9:00 to 20:00.

 

Românico Route

Including monasteries, bridges, monuments, churches and castles, the Românico Route crosses 58 Romanesque-style monuments located in northern Portugal. Divided into three routes connected by roads that follow the courses of the rivers, we find Vale do Sousa route, Vale do Douro route and Vale do Tâmega route. From Amarante it is possible to visit many of the buildings that are part of the road, which are properly marked, always in communion with nature.

Next some remarkable monuments:

 

Salvador de Travanca Convent

Representing a large architectural heritage, it began to be built at the end of the 12th century. Its interior forms one of the most rhythmic spaces of Portuguese Romanesque architecture, composed of three layered naves with wooden roofs and separated by broken arches. With great prominence, its tower, which is one of the highest in medieval style preserved today, is considered a National Monument since January 27, 1916.

Address: Rua do Mosteiro, Travanca, Amarante, Porto.

Visiting hours: By appointment.

São Martinho de Mancelos Convent

São Martinho de Mancelos Church, despite the transformations it has undergone over the centuries, it still retains important parts of Romanesque remains, dating from the mid-13th century. What stands out most in this monument is the imposing portal, formed by four slightly broken voussoirs. Painter Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, famous Portuguese modernist, is buried in the cemetery located next to the convent.

Address: Rua Central de Mancelos, Mancelos, Amarante, Porto.

Visiting hours: By appointment.

 

Salvador de Lufrei Church

Transformed into a parish church after the transfer of the Benedictine nuns, who have been living in it, to the convent of São Bento de Avé Maria in Porto, in the 16th century, the former Salvador de Lufrei Convent was probably founded in the 12th century. Built where two small water courses meet, it is a testimony of the late Romanesque, confirmed by the composition of the main portal, which consists of a broken arch, and also by the lack of columns, tympanum and ornamental elements, and by the square design without ornaments, in addition to its natural lighting thanks to the cracks located in strategic points of the building. Inside, it is worth mentioning the frescoes recently discovered after restoration works.

Address: Rua da Igreja, Lufrei, Amarante, Porto.

Visiting hours: By appointment.

 

Santo André de Telões Church

Built in the 14th century, in Telões Church, important Romanesque vestiges still remain despite the many changes experienced over the years according to new schools and tastes. With a great emphasis on the set of buttresses that still exist at the level of the rear facade of the upper part, it is a sign that this part of the church was designed to be domed; its Romanesque triumphal arch has not changed and it is still possible to appreciate a painting on the wall at the bottom of the central nave that represents Christmas dinner.

Address: Largo do Mosteiro, Telões, Amarante, Porto.

Visiting hours: By appointment.