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Sistelo was originally a medieval village from whose period traces in elements such as the deployment of the cruise, the fountain or the organization of the houses seem to have survived.

The region…

The most prominent architectural element is, however, also the most recent. It is about the so called ´Casa do Castelo´, a revivalist rectangular palace with two granite towers. This set, which dominates a landscape of incredible beauty, was built in the second half of the nineteenth century by a native, Manuel A. Gonçalves Roque, who was also the first Viscount of Sistelo.
Sistelo is famous for its ´solcalcos´, which arose by the need to increase the agricultural area and to counter the slopes.
Those are flat platforms with deep and fertile soil, built on the slopes of the mountains overlapping each other and supported by great stone walls.
These structures allowed the development of subsistence agriculture of extremely importance for the survival of rural communities.
Associated to these platforms were the specially built channels for the transportation of water from the highest peaks of the mountains, rivers and wells to the fields.
These channels, which in some cases are extended over tens of kilometres, are crucial to the survival of cultures in the summer months.

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Casa da AvóPax 2
Casa do FornoPax 2
Casa do AvôPax 4
Casa da TerezinaPax 6

How to Get There

Aldeia de Portugal

From Porto Airport: Take the motorway A3 towards Valença. Get off at km 78 and follow the directions to Arcos de Valdevez. After the tolls, follow the IC28 towards Arcos de Valdevez. After 15 km leave the IC28 and follow the directions to Arcos de Valdevez. At the entrance of the village ´Arcos de Valdevez´, follow the signs to ´Sistelo`/ `PNPG`/ `Mezio`. Continue on the N202-2, following the indications to ´Sistelo´ and after 22 km you will reach the village.
GPS coordinates:

Facilities & Equipments

Village FacilitiesDue to their geographical constraints, the Aldeias de Portugal are often not provided with all the equipments and facilities that we usually find in urban centres. To make your stay at Aldeias de Portugal more pleasant we will mention here the facilities and equipments that can be found at the villages and/or surroundings.

Cultural & Natural heritage

Village Cultural & Natural heritageIn the Aldeias de Portugal many perspectives catch the interest of their visitors. In these villages many constructions and archaeological findings prove us the existence of men thousands of years ago. Folklore is the most genuine, colourful and joyful of Portugal. Also culture, gastronomy, arts, artisans and traditional crafts of ancient times, were kept alive until the day of today.


Village History

The inquiries of 1258, when referring to the parish of Cabreiro, say that Sistelo was a recent and small village that was donated to the Order of the Hospital by the founder's family.
The properties of this village were exempt from taxes because they belonged to that Order.
It seems, however, that its inhabitants were subject to taxes as well as coverage of the border, guarding the ´Porto de Couso´
The ´Porto do Couso´ should be located near the landmark of Couço (752 m. of altitude), near to the confluence of Sistelo river and Cabreiro riverside.
The first reference known of this church can be found in the records of the evaluation of ecclesiastical performance and benefits of the village of Valença, at the time of its incorporation in the diocese of Braga (1514-1532). It yielded 25 bushels of bread.
In 1580 D. Frei Baltasar Limpo wrote that the village of Sistelo belonged to the church of São Salvador de Cabreiro.
Also the historian Américo Costa confirms this theory in his studies.