Castle and Cathedral, Lamego

Having made a conscious decision to save sharing the Sanctuary in Lamego for next Monday’s walk, I thought I might tell you about the rest of our day. Our legs were already tired from our morning’s efforts, but we decided to visit the Cathedral, then pause for lunch before our ascent to the castle you see above.

It’s obvious that Lamego was once a very wealthy place. Baroque mansions seem to stand on every corner, though some are now in a poor state of repair. In 1143 it was the site of Portugal’s first Parliament and, sitting on a valuable trade route between east and west of the country, prosperity came from satin and velvet as well as the wine trade. Founded in 1129, the Cathedral is basically a Renaissance structure, with a surviving tower from the 13th century.

The cloisters are a thing of beauty, and I sat for a while in a glittering gold alcove, giving thanks for the life that I have.

We had earned a rest from sightseeing, but we needed to make a choice. Not so easy because many of the cafes and restaurants appeared desperate for customers. Recovery from Covid has hit this part of the world quite hard. Eventually we succumbed to a great double act. A super keen young waitress who proclaimed proudly that she could speak French and Spanish (but no English) and an elderly lady who waved her arms a lot, through a torrent of Portuguese, and piled every delectable thing she could on the counter for our inspection. We hadn’t the heart to say we weren’t really hungry, just needed to sit a while.

But then it was upwards, again.

Entry was through the Porta do Sol, dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Graca (Our Lady of Grace) and we climbed steadily within the castle walls, looking down on rooftops, ramshackle and robust by turn. The steps up the castle keep didn’t accomplish much, but I was happy to smile and wave back.

The ancient stone houses were full of character, but we were disappointed to find that the 13th century cisterna, which had once supplied the town with water, was closed, despite a leaflet with enticing photos and the opening times.

We left by Porta dos Figos, dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Guia (Our Lady of Guidance), glad that the route home was mostly downhill. Later we were to have an encounter with Raposeira, the closest thing to champagne you will find in Portugal. Maybe it was that which made us fluent in the local tongue, but we had a great evening, chatting to some old lads, who may or may not have understood us. But it didn’t really seem to matter. International relations were restored.

69 thoughts on “Castle and Cathedral, Lamego

  1. I had so many thoughts as I read and meandered through the streets. First of all, the streets are pristine, no trash, no potholes, just so well taken care of. The roofs were not so fortunate. Secondly, the opulence. Gold everywhere. Your comment about feeling so lucky and blessed and we are – not to have to pay for all of that. And it’s so wonderful to enjoy it. And it’s amazing that it lasted. I know it was such a trade town and a lot of money poured in, but I can’t help wonder about what all the people living there had to pay for all of that. See what a mercenary I am? Finally I thought about your poor legs and feet and how much walking you did. I need a rest now. πŸ™‚

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    • See what I mean about you being delightful company? You think and walk. I love that. The walled village is unique in some respects, Marsha. I had a very particular and special feeling within those streets. And when it comes to wealth, you know the local well-to-dos liked to splash the cash, just to impress. I was pretty darned impressed, but life in our times is very different. Maintaining this heritage has a huge cost factor.
      Off on an early morning walk soon, followed by coffee and cake at a friend’s house. It’s a terrible life, isn’t it?

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      • Such a terrible life. And you and I make beautiful conversation. Your posts inspire lots of thinking. I have changed, I think, in my blogging. If I am enjoying a post, I don’t worry that it takes a long time to work through it. I used to try to keep track of people’s posts so I visited every one of them. As you know, that can’t be done, not really. But if I give quality time and consideration to at least some of them as I walk through my posts, then I enjoy my blogging experience so much more. And I get to sample the cakes and ice creams. πŸ™‚

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  2. I love the narrow, winding streets of Lamego and its beautiful terracotta roofs! The cathedral’s main door sure is to leave anyone in awe and so is the main altar πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing and have a good day πŸ™‚ Aiva xx

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  3. The cathedral’s door is quite impressive, as is the inside! I always find the cobbled streets so beautiful (though, it was hard on my blistered feet during our Camino πŸ˜‰). Lovely walk Jo, I always enjoy your meanderings.

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  4. I love how you told the story… it was so descriptive that I felt I was there climbing with you! You have a gift of storytelling that I wish I had. Thanks Jo!

    The

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  5. The stone houses are quite cool looking and rustic, Jo! I really love that blue tile framing the religious figures–compelling images! I just bet that Raposeira made you fluent, LOL! Sounds like fun and memorable times, my friend!

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  6. Clearly you are an excellent visitor Jo! While I loved the scenery and the glorious architecture, I found your descriptions of your interactions with the people so warm and smile-worthy, I could really imagine being right beside you! Covid has wrought such havoc on the places that depend on visitors, so very sad.Terrific post.

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    • Thanks so much, Tina πŸ€—πŸ’— I’m sitting in the shade right now with a good book. It’s over 30C and that’s too much for me so I’m glad I walked early morning. It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here and lots of people have come down for the weekend so the Algarve is humming with life, but many places in the north are still struggling. If you can find time tomorrow come back and see why Lamego should be a popular destination. The Sanctuary is glorious. Meanwhile, happy Sunday! πŸ€—πŸ’—

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  7. So glad I didn’t have to walk at all. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Lovely details and places, Jo. I liked the view looking through that opening and the flowers in several shots. I’m on my iPad so I can’t go back to check on and properly describe the photos because I’ll lose my comment. πŸ™

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    • It was a tiny local restaurant just around the corner from our apartment, Anabel. We hadn’t the energy to walk farther, but it was a very entertaining evening. Not sure if the bubbly was opened in our honour, or if they were going to open it anyway.

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  8. You always do so much walking! I’d never keep up with you. We also visited a cathedral while we were away – now I can bear to sit in front of a screen I shall have to start writing up about some of the places we got to. No cloisters though and no castles either.

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  9. Another wonderful walk. I had to laugh when the food appeared to the unhungry. For some reason, I still eat during those times. Nonetheless, for me – a wonderful walk capturing European charm. Love the pic of the view from the castle. Cheers to your international relations building through bubbly!

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  10. Oh what a great walk Jo. Suddenly there appeared blue tiles and a smile from me. I guess now is the time to but a doer uppera of a run down mansion lol
    Glad it was enjoyable and downhill to home πŸ™‚

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