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Located on a zone of transition between the harsh and mountainous Trás-os-Montes and the verdant Minho, the county of Ribeira de Pena, crossed by the tranquil waters of the river Tâmega, displays unique characteristics and also offers visitors the unmistakable flavour of the region's vinho verde
Equally rich is the heritage left by man since remote times, visible at abundant prehistoric remains such as the Stone Age engravings of Lamelas, several dolmens and archaeological monuments and fortified settlements such as the ruins found at Monte do Cabriz, near the village of Cerva.
Throughout the county, traditional espigueiros
(granaries) are still a familiar sight, rising on granite columns with roofs of tiles topped by ornamental crosses of different shapes.
Also worthy of being admired are the beautiful manor-houses rising across the region, such as the 16th-century manor of Santa Marinha, the Temporã House, at Venda Nova, or the House of Senra de Cima (18th-century), at Salvador, among many other noble houses.
The religious patrimony includes fine buildings, namely the Divine Saviour Mother Church, in the Baroque style, at the seat of the county, and the Mother Church of Santa Marinha, from the 17th century.
Ribeira de Pena boasts of a long tradition in linen craftwork and offers beautiful embroidered table-cloths, bedspreads and sheets, besides rugs and carpets of thread and rags still woven at the villages of Santa Marinha, Alvadia and Cerva.
The regional cuisine is characterized by a variety of flavours, ranging from delicious fish from the county's rivers and streams to succulent roasts of kid or veal cooked in wood-burning ovens.
There are also excellent sausages and cured meats and typical desserts such as leite-creme
(a kind of custard) or rabanadas de mel
(a sort of French toast made with honey).
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