Land of holy baths
Situated between the coastline and the interior of the country, Ansião is a rural council surrounded by mountains with millenary origins. The main testimonies are the Neolithic findings of the grave Sepultura da Fonte Santa and the Roman vestiges that can be found in the manor house Solar dos Conder de Castelo Melhor. The headquarters of the municipality is a small town with an interesting heritage: the main church, the Manueline pillory and the famous bridge Ponte da Cal in the entrance of the town. Beneath one of its arches there is still a tank where in the past the Holy Queen Isabel used to bathe. Next to this place, in the right margin, a small chapel was built in homage to this name of Portuguese history. A popular feast is held in this place every year during St. Peter’s feasts. In town centre, there is also a fountain with a tile panel depicting the legend of this people. The name “Ansião” derives from the alms that the Queen gave to an elder man (Portuguese old-fashioned word “ancião”). The rest of the council is covered by beautiful natural landscapes with typical villages and wind mills here and there. The gastronomic highlight of the region is Rabaçal Cheese made of sheep and goat milk, ideal as a starter or even as a dessert.