10 Glimpses of Northern Portugal: 1.Amarante

You could spend a lovely day here,  wandering along by the river and through the old village but for most (including tour buses because its on the day tour circuit)  its all about the bridge,  the church and then coffee or lunch before moving on.

 

Ponte de Sao Goncalo

The bridge IS impressive.   Its not the oldest nor the longest nor the most stunning to be seen in the region but the setting is quite lovely and worth a bit of a detour.

This particular structure was completed in 1790 after heavy flooding washed away the original which had been in place since the 13th century.

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If you have enough time,  you can enjoy a riverside walk or even rent a pedalo and take to the water.

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The bridge is still in use so you have to jump out of the way of traffic when taking photos.   There are seating areas midway on both sides and great views of the church..

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The river sign is a bit of an eyesore in an otherwise beautiful setting!

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There are plenty of places offering nice views of the town.

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Igreja de Sao Goncalo

Sao Goncalo was of noble birth and several miracles are accredited to him.  Once local workers building the bridge ran out of wine.  Goncalo struck a rock with his stick and wine poured out from the split!   He is also associated with fertility,  his feast day being celebrated in June with phallic shaped cakes!

The church is ideally situated beside the bridge with its terraces offering views of the river.  The door is 16th century Renaissance, surrounded by statues of local kings.  Inside,  you’ll find a baroque altar and Goncalo’s tomb (where,  if you are looking for a mate,  your wish will be granted within a year if you touch the statue above the tomb!).

 

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I like the paving on the terrace which reflects the facade of the church.

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Its a nice town for a stroll and has an excellent art museum which we will have to visit the next time.

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♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

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