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Gondomar



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Located on the right bank of the river Douro at a mountainous zone cut by fertile valleys, Gondomar is an ancient town whose history goes back, according to legend, to the year of 610, when the Visigoth King Flavio Gundemario explored this region rich in gold mines.

However, archaeological finds discovered at Mount Crasto, the county's highest point (129 metres) and from where a magnificent panorama over Gondomar and Oporto may be enjoyed, indicate that the zone was inhabited from a much earlier period.

Bathed by the river Douro along an extension of about 30 kilometres, the county offers good conditions for fishing and water sports such as rowing or canoeing, besides pleasant fluvial beaches like the ones of Gramido, Marecos or Esposada.

The bucolic scenery and riverside views along the marginal road which links Gondomar to Entre-os-Rios are also much appreciated by visitors; at some sites, such as Valbom, typical fising boats known as valboeiros may still be seen.

In terms of architectural patrimony, it is worth admiring the Mother Church of Gondomar, completed in 1727, the Baroque chapel of Our Lady of Lapa (18th century) and several manors and noble houses, such as the House of Montezelo (17th century), at Fânzeres, or the manor of Quinta da Bandeirinha, at Melres, from the same period and exhibiting a beautiful ceiling of Baroque woodwork.

The county is also renowned for the work of its goldsmiths, a tradition kept for centuries and probably due to the existence of gold mines in the region which were already explored by Visigoths and Celts. Filigrees in gold and silver are particularly admired, with their intricate design resembling lace which is attributed to the influence of the Moorish occupation.

The gastronomy of Gondomar, traditionally a land of fishermen, specialises in lamprey and shad, cooked in several guises, but there are other typical dishes, such as arroz de mílharas (rice with fish roe) and turnip soup.

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