Next to the Tâmega riverbed, less than an hour from Porto, is the quiet and beautiful town of Amarante. But in addition to those adjectives, one more could be added: romantic, since in the church of this town the mortal remains of São Gonçalo, considered the Portuguese Valentine’s Day. Furthermore, according to legend, Visiting this town and its temple brings luck in love. A perfect getaway if you want to fly out of Spain, but not go too far.

An eclectic architectural gem

The town of Amarante is dominated by its magnificent church and monastery of São Gonçalo, which combines Renaissance, Baroque, Mannerist and 18th century styles. This construction stands out for its portico decorated with statues of saints, next to a vaulted gallery presided over by the statues of the kings who governed Portugal during the construction of the monastery: Joao III and his wife Catherine of Austria, who started the work, and Sebastiao and Felipe I.

Church of São Gonçalo.
Church of São Gonçalo.

Inside the church, we will be surprised by its beautiful baroque altar, its cloisters and the treasure of the sacristy. But among all this, what attracts visitors the most is the tomb of São Gonçalo, presided over by a statue of this saint born in Amarante. According to tradition, whoever touches that figure you will find love.

Chapel of Bones in Évora.

The sinister chapel covered in human bones in a convent in Portugal

Other essentials in the villa

In this beautiful town with houses full of balconies, winding streets and fields of vineyards around us, we will find many other architectural gems. It is essential to cross the São Gonçalo Bridge on the Tâmega River, a symbol of the people’s resistance against the invasion of the French in 1808.

São Gonçalo Bridge.
São Gonçalo Bridge.

Going up a cobbled street next to the São Gonçalo church, we will reach the São Domingos, a baroque temple from the 18th century. Another unmissable point is the church of São Pedro and its imposing tower.

Baleal Island

A hidden paradise in Portugal: the destination you should know for your 2024 vacation

We completed the visit to Amarante with two very different plans. On the one hand, for lovers of modernist art, there is the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum, which exhibits portraits, sketches, vignettes and paintings signed by this Amarantine painter. And on the other hand, the little ones will enjoy the pools and slides of the Amarante Water Park.

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