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Celorico da Beira

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Standing on a hill which commands a vast panorama, Celorico da Beira is surrounded by pastures which have been a source of the finest Portuguese cheese, the Serra, named after the Serra da Estrela mountains.

Its strategic position led to the construction of a castle in the 10th century which was witness to a succession of border conflicts between Portuguese and Spanish troops. Now only a tower and the outer walls remain, besides many stories and legends linked to its past.

The town's streets, flanked by granite houses with Gothic doors and Manueline windows, gargoyles or brackets jutting out of the walls also speak of this impressive past.

The Mother Church, restored in the 18th century, exhibits a painted coffered ceiling.

On the county's limits, Linhares is one of the most characteristic villages of Portugal, with a long history which is still reflected by many architectural remains, such as the ruins of the Castle, dating from the Middle Ages, and the stones of the medieval Forum, from which justice was dispensed. The Mother Church has three paintings attributed to the great painter Gro Vasco (1475-1540): the Adoration of the Magi, the Descent from the Cross and the Annunciation.

From December to May, the cheese market held at the Municipal Square of Celorico da Beira is a lively event which attracts many visitors.

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