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Penalva do Castelo

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The county's most emblematic site is undoubtedly the great House of Ínsua, a wonderful manor-house built during the second half of the 18th century and exhibiting the heraldic lily of the Albuquerques family all over the palace and grounds.

The manor displays an impressive façade and stone staircase, and the garden, built on two levels at the centre of a large estate with woods, is one of the most beautiful of the Beira region.

It is located near the small town of Penalva do Castelo, which grew around a large main square with a pleasant garden and bandstand, surrounded by typical houses.

The interesting Mother Church, in the Baroque style, displays an altarpiece with paintings by the school of Grão-Vasco (16th century).

The county's architectural patrimony also includes the Roman bridges of Penalva do Castelo and Trancozelos, the ruins of the Monastery of the Holy Sepulchre and the Chapel of Ó, at Corga.

The landscape offers beautiful sceneries of fertile valleys crossed by rivers and streams and densely wooded mountain slopes and hills.

The county has an essentially agricultural character and there are countless orchards and extensive vineyards cultivated to produce the well-known Dão wines, named after the river which crosses the region.

On many fields, it is still possible to see circular huts made of stone with thatched roofs, traditionally used for storing hay, grain or agricultural implements.

Local handicrafts also preserve ancient skills and offer typical works in tin and basketry.

The county's gastronomy reflects its rural character and there are succulent dishes of pork with white beans, rice with spring greens and sausages and stew of beans and cabbage, besides the regional wines.

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