Vila Nova de Cerveira
Vila Nova de Cerveira is a beautiful Vila Minhota, county seat, right in the northern region, overlooking the Minho River that separates it from the Spanish village of Góian.
Border village, it developed around its walls, which protected it from Spanish attacks, situated in a region of great natural beauty.
The origin of the name Vila Nova de Cerveira has two possible explanations: it may derive from a large deer colony that existed in the region, or it may refer to the first Lord of Cerveira who had solar for these sites in the time of King D. Sancho I.
The occupation of the banks of the river Minho begins in prehistory, and there are already several traces detected in the county, through carved pebbles and rock engravings. However, one of the main discoveries was the grave treasure of the White Water Quinta, belonging to the Bronze Age and whose estate is integrated in the treasures of the National Archaeological Museum.
The borders, however, continued to be the scene of clashes and disputes between the Portuguese and Spanish culminating in the nineteenth century with the Restoration Wars. To protect the village, the Governor of Arms of Minho has two fortifications built, the Atalaia do Alto do Lourido and the Fort of Lovelhe.
Historical village, predominantly rural, but with some industries that have developed in recent years, Vila Nova de Cerveira is famous for its prestigious Biennial of Plastic Arts, which attracts many visitors and renowned national and international artists, held since 1978.
Its many palatial houses, emblazoned and typical Minho manor houses give it a manorial tone, which denotes the importance and economic power over the centuries, enriching the beauty of the village, itself surrounded by an idyllic environment of green mountains and copious streams of water.
The castle of Vila Nova de Cerveira does not have a confirmed date for its construction, however there are references to its existence in 1230, during the reign of D. Sancho II, having been the target of defense improvements in the reign of D. Dinis.
During the crisis that began in 1383, with the death of King Fernando, without male heirs, his daughter D. Beatriz, married to the king of Castile, claimed the Portuguese throne, but this meant the loss of independence.
The other possibilities were the son of King Pedro I and Inês de Castro, living in Castile, or João, Grand Master of Aviz, son of D. Pedro I and Inês de Castro's handmaid, Teresa Lourenço. second, but originated a war with Castile.
Vila Nova de Cerveira, like other squares in this region, was placed next to D. Beatriz, but in 1385, Nuno Álvares Pereira submitted this castle to King D. João I.
In 1476, D. Leonel de Lima, becomes the first viscount of Vila Nova de Cerveira, title granted by D. Afonso V.
During the War of Restoration of Portuguese Independence in 1643, the castle resisted the attack of Spanish troops, and at this time the Viscount Vila Nova de Cerveira implemented significant improvements in defenses, adapting to the use of artillery.
In the nineteenth century, urban growth sacrificed a good part of the fortification and already in the twentieth century, the castle was classified as a National Monument, after which the historic center of the village was recovered, and in the castle was installed an inn, Pousada de D Dinis.
The gastronomy of the region is influenced by the richness of the Rio Minho which also offers indescribable panoramas, and the offer of catering in Vila Nova de Cerveira is of quality, especially dishes such as lamprey, shad or the much appreciated mullet.