“Branda de Santo António”

Monção
Description
In the Alto Minho region, during the Middle Ages, the livestock economy developed and nomad life got a strong expression. As a result “brandas” or “inverneiras” emerge. Several examples of this type of settlements located at high places, mormally situated more than 500 meters high, still exist nowadays. The “Branda de Santo Antonio Vale de Poldros”, in Riba de Mouro, is one of these examples with ancient origins that probably come from the Middle Ages.

Located on the hillside, about a thousand meters high, this “branda” stands on the upland overlooking the river Vez. Here you can get fantastic panoramic views over the whole region! Venture yourself through this seasonal agriculture area, set in an environment of great natural beauty, where you will find a huge number of “cardenhas” which are not more than rudimentary buildings entirely made of granite and shale. It is here, that  the  shepherds and farmers live in summer months. If you come here at this time of the year, you can see them enjoying the pastures of Serra da Peneda. In the evening, they used to go to the “cardenhas” where the lower floor is for the cattle and the upper floor flor the people. In the present days, next to the “cardenhas”, it is possible  to  find  summer houses, which have appeared along  the years. Visit the "Branda de Santo António Vale de Poldros", the most important and the  best preserved "Branda" of Serra da Peneda!

Location: Monção
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