Valença do Minho
Valença do Minho is a historical village the North of Portugal, located right in the border with Spain, separated only by the lovely Minho river, and surrounded by defensive walls in the top of a hill, showing its ancient defensive facet.
Valença was of extreme significance during the Middle Age, up the hill with a privileged view over the border line, several times beleaguered by the neighbour Spain. Valença was also passage for the pilgrimage to the Way of St. James.
The village is dominated by the impressive fortress with two towers and double walls, from the 17th and 18th centuries, built according to the French engineer and architect Vauban. On the fortress functions nowadays a luxury hotel ( Pousada São Teotónio) that provides delightful panoramas.
Several monuments enrich the already beautiful Valença, where several typical manor houses attest the economical significance of the village throughout the centuries, like the Casa do Eirado, the Casa do Poço or the gorgeous Quinta da Mota.
Several religious monuments are worth to be known, like the 16th century Misericórdia Church, or the 13th century Colegiada de Santo Estêvão Church, the Santa Maria dos Anjos (13th c.) Church or the Militar do Bom Jesus (17th c.), São Sebastião, or Nossa Senhora da Saúde Chapels.
The village is characterized by the stone-paved narrow streets that show history on every corner, where a bustling typical commerce with traditional small shops specialized in hand made products of this region, such as gold, linen, basketry and also ceramics and pottery.