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Cimo da Vila de Castanheira

Vila-Real / Chaves. Route: Near Chaves

The village of Cimo de Vila da Castanheira, belongs to the municipality of Chaves in the north of Portugal.  It is one of the oldest villages in the region.

The castle “Mal Vecino” or “De los Moros” has been identified as a Pre-Roman sanctuary, even though the dates can be refuted.  Proof of Roman influence can be seen in the city of Chaves where the Roman road passes over the bridge Trajano leading to Astorga.

The Count Odoario, the brother of King Alfonso III of Asturias, conquered the area and was in charge of repopulating the region between the Rivers Miño and Duero.  During the Medieval period, the Church of Saint John the Bishop was built in Castanheira, which also belongs to the village of Dadim.  It is a small single nave church that dates back to the Late Romanesque period.  Written reference to the church is scarce. The tower is presumed to be built at an earlier time than the rest of the building because of its defensive structure.  It is separated from the main part of the church and functions as a bell tower.

In the modern ages, Cimo de Vila fell under the jurisdiction of the Count of  Atouguia (Don Álvaro Gonçalves de Ataíde), the first of one of the most powerful families in Portugal at this time.  The Baroque style church of San Sebastian is located upon a small hill and there is evidence that there was once a fort.
The villages belonging to this municipality possess important constructions in granite however most are found in a state of ruin.



Cimo da Vila de Castanheira
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Junta de Castilla y LeónFundación Iberdrola EspañaGoverno de PortugalFundación Santa María la Real del patrimonio históricoDiócesis de SalamancaDiócesis de ZamoraDiócesis  de AstorgaDiócesis de Ciudad Rodrigo