Amarante: a pittoresque town
Close to Porto, Portugal
Amarante is a small and pittoresque town that is definitely worth your visit!
You can begin your itinerary by visiting the ruins of Solar de Magalhães. A 17th century manor house that became a symbol of resistance to the French invasion. Burned by the French troops in the early 1800s, the house only retains the outer walls of the original structure.
Then, walk through the narrow streets of Amarante to enjoy some of the beautiful houses this city has to offer until you finally reach the square in front of the Saint Gonçalo Convent and Church. The current church was built in the 1540s and on the same location where São Gonçalo built a hermitage. It is the ex-libris of the city and has bullet marks on the facade to remember the battles in the city.
The church is amazingly decorated with painted ceilings, walls with ceramic tiles, and golden painting frames all around. Also, do not miss the cloister and sacristy. In the corner of the sacristy, there’s a statue of the saint who is holding a rope. It is said to help women find husbands after they pull it. However, you should not do this to avoid damaging this iconic statue!
Afterwards, cross the Saint Gonçalo bridge which according to local legend was originally built by São Gonçalo in 1250.
You should then visit Confeitaria da Ponte to taste some amazing conventual sweets. Conventual sweets are very traditional in Portugal. It was created in convents and monasteries in the 15th century. It all began once an enormous amount of sugar started to arrive in Portugal and unused egg yolks were mixed in together.
Right next to Confeitaria da Ponte are stairs that will take you to the Tâmega River. Enjoy the scenery and take some pictures before you leave this city!