ChavesTown Related Links
ChavesHistory

The Romans named Chaves as “Aquae Flaviae” around 78 AD after their discovery of the thermal springs and nearby gold deposits. Its fertile surroundings and strategic position marked its early history with various battles and sieges between wandering tribes.

The Portuguese eventually took possession of the town from the Moors in 1160. The town was given to Nuno Álvares Pereira by King João I as a reward for defeating the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385.

General Silveira in 1809 defeated General Soult with his French invading army here at Chaves and this was the first victory for the Portuguese against the intruders.

After the Republicans took control of Portugal in the early 20th Century the city was subject to a failed attack in 1912 from Royalists based in Spain.

In 1483 the first published book in the Portuguese language, the "Sacramental", was produced in this town.

ChavesDescription

This City is situated in the upper reaches of the Rio Tâmega that runs to the south and east to Porto. Its present day fame lies in its reputation as a Spa Town and the local produced cured hams.

The old part of town is to be found around the main square with the ruins of a 14th Century Keep. This is all that remains of the former fine castle built for Nuno Álvares Pereira. The walls of the fortress are a fine example of the principles used by the French military defensive architect Count de Vauban.

Of the two churches standing on the square the Misericódia is probably the most interesting with its large 18th Century tiled panels depicting scenes from the Bible. In the Keep is a small museum with armour and memorabilia of the 1912 attack.

The Museu da Região Flaviense displays an interesting collection of items from local archaeological sites. The fine sixteen-arched Roman bridge (four arches are hidden from view), spanning the Rio Tâmega is from the period of the Roman development of the town by Emperor Trajan.

Close to the centre is one of the warmest natural springs Spas to be found in Europe with the water reaching up to 73º C (163ºF).

ChavesNearby Locations

The City is bordered to the west by the beautiful remote region of Serra do Barroso and its ancient main town of Montalegre. Here the visitor will find a 27 meter high Keep of the 14th Century ruined castle.

The small village of Boticas with its associated Spa of Carvalheiros is located closer to Chaves and has an unusual custom. During the invasion of the French army in 1809 the local inhabitants buried their locally produced wine in the ground rather than let it fall into the hands of the enemy.

After the departure of these invaders the wine was retrieved and found to have improved in quality. It was nicknamed “vinho dos mortos” (wine of the dead), and this practice has now become a routine leaving the wine underground for a period of about two years.

The popular Spa Town of Vidago lies to the southwest of Chaves and even further south is another popular Spa named Pedras Salgadas. At the small village of Soutelo that lies close to the west of Chaves is a strange 50 meter long boulder covered in strange hieroglyphs that perhaps is from Celtic times.

ChavesEvents and Useful Town Facts


Town Holiday 8th July
Feira Medieval 10th September



Postal Code 5400
Altitude 350 mts.
Inhabitants 14.000


ChavesTelephone Numbers


Town Hall 276 340 500
Fire Brigade 276 324 080
Police 276 323 125
Emergency Treatment 276 322 112
Tourist Office 276 333 029
SOS 112
Support to Tourists 800 296 296

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