Sistelo’s Village

Arcos de Valdevez
“Sistelo” was originally a medieval hamlet; a period from which seems to subsist traces in elements such as the erection of the Stone Made Cross (crucifix), of the fountain or even through old houses organization.

The most outstanding architectural element, however, is much more recent. This is the so-called “Casa do Castelo” (House of the Castle), a revivalist palace of rectangular plant, with two towers and battlements flanking the frontispiece as well as the neo-gothic tomb. The ensemble, which dominates a natural landscape of undeniable beauty, was built in the second half of the 19th
century by a Parish native, 1st Viscount of “Sistelo”, returned from Brazil, Manuel A. Gonçalves Roque.

The Terraces of “Sistelo”; another attraction of rare beauty. The terraces arise the need to increase the agricultural area and to counteract the slopes. They’re more or less flat platforms of deep fertile soil, built on the mountains slopes, a stairwell of superimposed layers supported by grandiose stone walls. These structures allow the development of a subsistence-oriented agriculture of extreme importance to the survival of rural communities.

Associated with these platforms, have been built channels destined to water transportation from the highest Mountain Peaks, wells and watercourses, into the fields. These channels, which in some cases extend for tens of kilometres, are labelled as irrigation channels and are essential for the cultures viability during summer.

Location: Arcos de Valdevez
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