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“When viewed from the south (…), a huge granitic hill surprises for its enigmatic beauty and perplexity that causes to the traveler. The landscape that dominates the Beira Baixa meadow is markedly flat and this geological accident, defined by Monsanto, seems to rise vertically to define a point of reference and identity for a vast territory. It was certainly for this position that the place has marks of settlement from the Pre-History until, uninterruptedly, to our day. It had many vicissitudes over the centuries, but the fact that would have earned it greater fame was its classification, in 1938, as Portugal's most Portuguese village, in a national propaganda campaign, carried out by Estado Novo. It is curious how one of the most unusual, eccentric, perhaps, Portuguese villages has received such an award. ” (Duarte Belo, Portugal - Luz e Sombra, available in https://www.duartebelo.com/16-luz_e_sombra/161-paginas/310-monsanto.html)
“It is said that going to Monsanto is time travel - it couldn't be more true. (…) From the bulwark, the point of arrival and departure for the adventure, one reaches the village that gradually settled here from the fifteenth century, leaving the old village around the castle that crowns the mountain. ”(Paulo Longo, Revista Adufe #18, January-June 2011, available at https://www.cm-idanhanova.pt/media/66399/adufe_18_web.pdf)
In Monsanto, let yourself be enchanted by its streets and alleys, enjoy the houses built in granite baroque and admire the view from any of its viewpoints. Be sure to visit S. Pedro de Vir-a-Corça, a hermitage in the foothills of Monsanto, where, legend has it, the hermit who lived in the cave near the belfry would have suckled a newborn, who had been abandoned there, with doe's milk, saving him from hunger (GPS coordinates : 40.0351511-7.119303).
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