The village more Portuguese of Portugal

MONSANTO – A GRANITE BASTION

Entrega do Galo de Prata ao Povo de Monsanto (1939)

When the delivery of the “Silver Rooster”  on  the 4th of  February 1938 in Lisbon, representatives of Monsanto´s people were welcomed by the Republic President; Marechal Óscar Fragoso Carmona, Board of Ministers President; Professor Dr. António Oliveira Salazar and some other illustrious individualities.

In 1938, António Ferro and "his" National Propaganda Secretaryship decided to give Monsanto the “Silver Rooster” that distinguished “the Most Portuguese Village” of Portugal. Located in the region of Idanha-a-Nova, Monsanto is an imposed population sculptured in the wild granite from a rock promontory that dominates the surrounding landscape. The excellent geographic location of the place turned that Saint Mountain into a privileged shelter to the most primitive peoples.
The natural fortification condition and the Neolithic axes fragments found in the mountain makes us believe that Monsanto was once a Pre-Roman village.

The proximity of old Egitânia (Idanha-a-Velha), of the road that linked Mérida to Compostela and the innumerable vestiges of Roman occupation (ceramic, coins, jewels and funerary registrations) are clear signals that the Saint Mountain had Romans, in what should have been  a "oppidum".

After the Romans came the Godos and the Arabs who left marks of their passage. Even today a lot of the ethnographic and anthropologic repository from those times still survives in people of this land. The proliferation of moor legends and traditions, like the “adufe” (traditional musical instrument which should only be played by women) survives as evidences of the presence from the Arab people in this region.

Some investigators support the Suevo-Visigothic origin thesis of the fortification, but in rigor only after the creation of the Portuguese Monarchy were defined precise chronological contours. After conclusion of the region’s reconquest to the moors, D. Afonso Henriques recognizes the strategical -military value of the fortification. Only then the King decided to reconstruct the fortification and restock Monsanto by giving it great exemptions for the 1174 charter, same one that was later confirmed by D. Sancho I (1190) and by D. Afonso II (1217).
Before giving the first charter, D. Afonso Henriques, donated the fortification to D. Gualdim Pais, Master of the Union Templar. Monsanto´s strategical importance as a defensive bastion went on growing through the centuries. The fortification was used as an advanced watching point where it was possible to sight in advance, hostile intruders into Portuguese territory. In 1510, D. Manuel raises the village population by honouring it with the permission to be able to use in his shield the celestial sphere.

The fortification unconquerbility is definitely proven in the two last occupation attempts tried by the invading armies. First one in 1658 by D. Luis de Haro (Felipe’s IV minister) and the second one in 1704 by Duke Berwick. The failure of these daring invaders dissuaded similar attempts. From then on the fortification began to loose military importance, benefiting the village’s development, which in the mean time had grown beyond the walls, forming the sub-region of S. Salvador.

In the beginning of the XIX century a violent explosion of powder in the castle’s storeroom, destroys most of the walls and the fortification. Some time after the last military garrison abandons the village, placing a stone rock in a heroic history of courage and brave defence of the Portuguese Border. It was the end a glorious period in the life of Monsanto.

Representantes do Povo de Monsanto foram a Lisboa receber o galardão de "Aldeia Mais Portuguesa" (1939) O Galo de Prata

 

MONSANTO – STONE TEMPLE

For many centuries Monsanto was carefully sculptured on top of the rocky mountain. Monsanto’s traditional houses have half the walls in granite. Monsanto “ex-libris” is the medieval fortification, with many places, doors and staircases. In 1948 the castle was classified as a National Monument.

Monsanto continues to be one of most beautiful Beira lands, celebrated by a notorious Portuguese writer: Fernando Namora, who lived and worked as a doctor in Monsanto for some years. “Scraps from the life of a Doctor” or “Stone Temple” are some of his books that deeply show the writer’s life in Monsanto.

A tourist when visiting Monsanto will certainly be intrigued with the same doubt as Cardoso Marta, when he wrote:

Rancho de raparigas de Monsanto na festa do Castelo (1939)

“In Monsanto we never know
if the house borns from
the rock or if the rocks
borns from the house”

 

MONSANTO MONUMENTS

Vista aérea do Castelo de Monsanto e da Capela de Santa MariaCASTLE
From the top of the mountain we can see the remains of what used to be a medieval fortification, with its strong walls, doors and staircases. When we enter through the “north door” (presently called “The Guards House” and where there’s a curious not yet deciphered registration) we encounter the “citadel” where still remains a templar foundation, with three arcs of five meters high. The castle has also a “false door” , a Homage Tower (medieval) and Saint Mary’s Castle Church (temple created more recently).

Igreja Românica de S.MiguelS. MIGUEL CHURCH

A Romanic temple (in ruins) made of granite rock, situated on top of the village next to the castle.
It has a beautiful axial door with perfect arc, with four archivolts where we can see animal and vegetable features.  At short distance we can also see an original Bell Tower with twin perfect arcs. In the Chapel we can also find many graves excavated in rock..

SOLDIERTOWER
A medieval watching point which was built on top of rocks and close to the castle, some parts of its vigorous walls still well preserved.

S. JOÃO CHAPEL
This Chapel used to belong to S. Miguel’s Church, today is in ruins and only has an arc, the Chapel is situated behind the Castle.

S. SALVADORCHURCH
With an old foundation, the present front-side is dated back to the XVII-VIII centuries, also from these dates are the beautiful golden altars and some other images of artistic interest. Inside the Church and very recently restored we have small but very precious Museum of Sacral Art.

ESPÍRITO SANTO CHAPEL
Dated on the XVI or XVII century is in its set of Renaissance trace. To this Chapel is endorsed on of the doors to the village, with an interesting shed.

SANTO ANTÓNIO CHAPEL
Manuelino Temple, with nice details: the door with its four archivolts; the two "batons" placed on top of a flower (one of each side of the door); the front-side oculus; the chapel-mor’s arch; the belfry.

Torre de Lucano com a réplica, em latão, do Galo de PrataLUCANO´S TOWER 

A granite harmonious and solid bell tower of the XV century. On top a copy of the silver rooster which was trophy from the famous “the most Portuguese village” competition.

S. PEDRO DE VIR-A-CORÇA CHAPEL

Built all in granite rock the chapel is situated in the village’s outskirts and is subject of some legends in the region, possibly dated on the XI century. In front of the Chapel on top of a rock, rises a magnificent belfry of Romanic trace.

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Written by RCM in 2017-12-13 14:25:10

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Na noite do passado dia 10, o Centro Emissor da Rádio Clube de Monsanto, nas Termas de Monfortinho ficou sem emissão por causa das adversas condições climatéricas e devido a algumas interrupções de energia eléctrica, que afectaram os nossos equipamentos e as antenas naquela localidade de fronteira.   Também por dificuldades de acesso à serra contígua, só hoje, cerca das 11 horas foi possível normalizar a emissão, e a desejada retoma da cobertura da zona raiana, que inclui a estremadura espanhola, que a RCM assegura regularmente desde o ano de 1999.   Apresentamos desculpas aos senhores ouvintes pelos transtornos.  

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Written by RCM in 2017-11-23 11:16:52

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Written by RCM in 2017-11-22 10:05:13

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A Câmara Municipal de Idanha-a-Nova está a disponibilizar aos produtores de azeite um Lagar em Modo de Produção Biológico. Na presente campanha, esta unidade já laborou 40 mil kg de azeitona biológica certificada, transformada em 8 mil litros de azeite biológico. A extracção do azeite é feita num lagar móvel licenciado e certificado, a funcionar no Núcleo Museológico do Azeite, em Proença-a-Velha. O presidente da Câmara de Idanha-a-Nova, Armindo Jacinto, explica que o Lagar é “uma solução provisória para dar resposta às necessidades da produção biológica e antecede o projecto que queremos instalar de forma permanente em Proença-a-Velha, o qual consiste em reforçar a musealização do complexo de lagares com um lagar moderno que produza azeite de altíssima qualidade e com cerificação biológica”.    

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