Towns and Villages

Buried deep in the Serra do Açor (a protected landscape area), which is full of breathtaking views, springs and pastureland, the historical village of Piódão is reminiscent of a crib because of the harmonious way in which its houses are arranged in the form of an amphitheatre. At night, when the village´s lights are turned on, this picture is particularly magnificent.

The distinctive feature of this mountain village with its narrow winding streets is schist, a stone found in great abundance in the region and used to build the houses and pavements, forming a large patch of uniform colour, interrupted by the vivid blue of the windows or doors of some houses. This note of dissonant colour owes its origin to a practical consideration, for it is said that the only shop in the village had nothing but blue paint to sell, and in view of the village´s isolation it was not easy for people to travel anywhere else. It has in fact been this isolation and the difficulties in travelling elsewhere that have helped to preserve many of the characteristics of this ancient village intact.

Amongst the group of small two-storey houses, the one building that particularly stands out is the parish church dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception, which is whitewashed and supported by some rather peculiar cylindrical buttresses. It was built by the local population in the early 19th century, with their gold and money.

In view of its hidden setting in the foothills of the serra, Piódão was once an ideal location for fugitives from justice, and it is thought that one of the murderers of D. Inês de Castro went into hiding here, thus escaping the wrath of D. Pedro I (14th century).

A historical village that has never actually played a major part in the History of Portugal, Piódão has become famous more recently because of its scenographic setting in the heart of the Serra do Açor. Such beauty is more than sufficient reason for visiting the village.

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