With its green pastures, plentiful water and protective mountains, it’s no wonder that the Lusitanians, the Iberian tribe from whom the Portuguese are descended, chose this area in which to live.
The Visigoths and later the Moors settled here, knowing that they could watch over the whole of the surrounding area. Linhares became part of Portugal in the time of D. Afonso Henriques, who granted its first charter in 1169. Despite the town’s strategic position, on a moonlit night in the year 1189, forces from León and Castile invaded the region in preparation for an attack on the castle of Celorico. Linhares rushed to its defence and the enemy army, seeing its rearguard surrounded, took flight.
On the village’s coat of arms you’ll find an engraving of a crescent and five stars, in remembrance of that night of the full moon long ago.
Be sure to visit the igreja matriz (parish church), which is of Romanesque origin. Inside there are three valuable paintings by the great Portuguese master Vasco Fernandes (Grão Vasco).
Also note the small stone dais in the town, a unique example of a medieval forum from which community decisions were announced to the populace.
The altitude and climate make this historical village the ideal venue for paragliding too, with the Open Championship held every year in August.