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PENALVA DO CASTELO

The most beautiful manor houses at the heart of Beira region

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Called Castendo in the past, it was not until 1957 that Penalva do Castelo would be named after the council. The name derives from an ancient fortress that existed here, but nothing has remained of it. The municipality has preserved several vestiges of the historical past, such as the first monastery built in the Iberian Peninsula by the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, situated in Trancoselos. However, the main attraction of the municipality is the manor house Casa da Ínsua (or Casa dos Albuquerques), considered one of the best examples of manor houses in Beira region. Built in the 18th century, this palace has an imposing façade and a beautiful two-storey garden with a view over the big surrounding agricultural field. In the town, situated between Dão and Coja rivers, you should visit the Baroque Misericódia Church, containing interesting paintings of the Grão Vasco School. Nowdays, this council still maintains its distinguishing rural features that made it famous. This region is known not only for the prestigious Dão wine, but also for the cheese Queijo da Serra da Estrela produced here, along with “bravo esmolfe” apples, named after a civil parish (called Esmolfe) integrated in Penalva do Castelo. The main gastronomic specialities are regional soup, turnip rice with chorizo and sweet olive oil biscuits.

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