Given its plentiful supply across Portugal’s north, granite prevails in the region’s Romanesque period architecture. Due to its extremely durable nature, it resulted mostly in simple forms and adornments, mostly made up of capitals, columns and archivolts over entranceways. Particularly good examples are to be found in the Churches of S. Pedro de Rates (Póvoa de Varzim) and S. Pedro (Paredes de Coura) and the Church of S. Salvador de Bravães (Ponte da Barca)
Given the Romanesque period accompanied the founding of the nation, the architecture reflected the instability of those times, best represented by the construction of cathedrals that appear more fortresses such as the Se of Porto and the Se of Braga.
Discover Guimarães, the founding capital of the nation and now UNESCO World Heritage, Braga, a religious centre from the 6th century onwards and Viana do Castelo, whose heritage derives from the riches brought back on the Voyages of Discovery. Stay in one of the many formerly noble but now converted tourist residences, often granite manor houses bringing you into contact with the centuries old tradition of Portuguese hospitality.