Penha Garcia

Penha Garcia
Place: Penha Garcia, Idanha-a-Nova
Photo: David Cachopo / Gerador
Penha Garcia


The oldest part of the village of Penha Garcia, situated between Monsanto and Monfortinho stands perched on the top of an escarpment overlooking a deep narrow gorge of the River Ponsul. From here, where the modest houses display the sense of nobility conferred upon them by their walls of schist and granite, nobody will remain indifferent on seeing the imposing and austere beauty of this particular region.

The small village is crowned by the castle built by D. Sancho I, the second king of Portugal, reminding us that Penha Garcia was once part of the kingdom's strategic defence system, particularly in the disturbed early years of the nation´s existence. In the 14th century, both the town and castle were given to the Order of the Knights Templar, who fought hard to defend the Christian territory. Before that, however, the land belonged to a certain lord of the manor, D. Garcia Mendes, who gave his name to the village.

The interior of the parish church houses a most valuable treasure: the image of Our Lady breastfeeding her child, carved in Ançã stone and a most touching demonstration of motherhood, which is based on a Gothic inscription dating from 1469.

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