Old Monção

The Minho

The best part of Monção’s old town is the utter lack of tourism. It’s almost exclusively a local scene in chestnut-shaded Praça Deu-la-Deu, where a hand-on-breast statue of its namesake tops a fountain and looks hungrily down over the surrounding cafes.

The Senhora da Vista bastion at the northern end offers a gentle view across the sinuous Rio Minho into Spain. The Capela da Misericórdia at the square’s southern end has a coffered ceiling painted with cherubs.

East of the square is the snug, cobbled old quarter. Two blocks along Rua da Glória is the pretty little Romanesque igreja matriz (parish church), where Deu-la-Deu is buried (look for the stone-carved alcove to the left of the entrance).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Minho attractions

1. Museu Alvarinho

0.08 MILES

This spiffy new museum in a beautiful old stone building on Monção's main square chronicles the history and production of Alvarinho wine through photos…

2. Palácio da Brejoeira

2.65 MILES

On the N101, 5km south of Monção, this grand early 19th-century neoclassical palace has been open to the public since 2010. Visits are by guided tour only…

3. Catedral de Santa Maria

8.74 MILES

The highlight of the old town is the fortress-like Catedral de Santa Maria. Begun in the 12th century, it reflects a stoic Romanesque style in most of its…

4. Fortaleza de Valença

9.01 MILES

Valença's fortaleza is in fact two fortresses, bristling with bastions, watchtowers, massive gateways and defensive bulwarks, connected by a single bridge…

5. Igreja de Santo Estevão

9.04 MILES

This 14th-century edifice inside the fortaleza, with its neoclassical facade, is one of Valença's best preserved churches.

6. Igreja de Santa Maria dos Anjos

9.06 MILES

Dating from 1276, this now-decrepit Romanesque parish church inside the fortaleza has a tiny chapel at the back with Romano-Gothic inscriptions on the…

7. Roman Milestone

9.06 MILES

This 1st-century Roman milestone inside the fortaleza is a remnant from the old Braga–Astorga road.

8. Casa da Eira

9.07 MILES

Opposite the post office, the Casa da Eira has a handsome Manueline window somewhat marred by a horrendous corrugated tin room that peeks above the…