ViseuTown Related Links
ViseuHistory

The town of Viseu is lodged in history as an strategically important crossroad and the Romans kept here a strong garrison and their buildings are recorded as covering a total of 38 square hectares of land.

The Romans were later ousted by the Suevi who with the local inhabitants converted to the Catholic religion in 6th Century. This tribe of Vandals were in turn ousted by the Visigoths in the 7th Century who were later to be conquered by the Moors.

These last occupiers of Viseu were in turn conquered by King Alfonso V of León who later included it in the County of Portucale. When Dom Afonso created the Kingdom of Portugal the town became an integral part and has remained such with the occasional interference of both Spain and France.

In the surrounding area are a number of decorated large standing stones with detailed carved symbolic lines. To this day no one has yet managed to accurately interpret their unusual designs or managed to establish from which era of civilization they have originated.

ViseuDescription

Its strong architectural buildings reflect its heritage as a centre of this important wine-growing region. The Sé is a Cathedral that has lost its original character due to a number of re-constructions that have been implemented during the 16th and 17th Centuries. It probably was originally constructed in the 13th Century as shown by the columns dating from that period.

The town seems dominated by the Museu de Grão Vasco housed in the former palace of the Bishop. On permanent display is a large collection of the paintings of Vasco Fernandes whose school of art was from 1475 to 1540. This school is internationally acclaimed for their painting of nature and attention to detail.

This artist's treatment of light and shadow indicates that he had travelled and been seemly greatly influenced by the Flemish School of that period. Also on exhibition are religious items and further paintings from Vasco Fernandes, and his archrival the painter Gaspar Vaz. Works from the 19th and 20th Century artists including the outstanding Columbano, and Bordalo Pinheiro are also on show.

The Igreja dos Terceiros de São Francisco has an interesting gilded interior whilst the Igreja da Miseriacórdia is fronted by a very balanced and attractive Rococo façade. It is in this town that Augusto Hilário the original composer of the Coimbra style of singing "Fado" was born.

ViseuNearby Locations

To the northwest are the towns of Vouzela and São Pedro do Sul, two calm and beautiful towns surrounded by homes and manor houses of the wealthy noblemen from the 13th through to the 19th Century. The first town mentioned is also noted as the birthplace of Santo Frei Gil (13th Century), and many other famous Portuguese including the poet João Ramalho.

To the southwest is the mountain range of the Serra da Caramulo and its Spa town of Caramulo. Within a single building in this town there are the collections of the two Lacerda brothers. One brother specialized in collecting fine art paintings and sculpture ranging from bronzes of 900BC to an outstanding still-life by Picasso.

The other brother's collection is devoted to automobiles that include an 1899 Peugeot to Rolls Royce's. Further to the southwest is the town of Santa Comba Dão set on the bank of the River Dão and the birthplace of several notable people including the 20th Century statesman and dictator Oliveira Salazar.

The first recorded reference to this town was in the 10th Century when it was believed to have been originally created as a settlement by the Visigoths.

Directly to the south of Viseu are the towns of Santar and Oliveira da Conde, both of which have many architecturally handsome homes and manor houses, some of which can be visited through booking their accommodation.

ViseuEvents and Useful Town Facts


Festival of Nossa Senhora do Crasto 1st week after Easter
Town Holiday 21st September



Postal Code 3500
Altitude 425 mts.
Inhabitants 47.000


ViseuTelephone Numbers


Town Hall 232 427 427
Tourist Office 232 422 050
SOS 112
Support to Tourists 800 296 296

Accommodation
 Guest & Manor Houses
Area Map
Weather
 Algarve Weather Forecast
 Lisbon Weather Forecast
 Porto Weather Forecast
Transmontana
 Bragança
 Chaves
 Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
 Guarda
 Vila Real
 Viseu
Travel Index
 Algarve
 Alentejo
 Lisbon Coast
 Costa Prata
 Costa Verde
 Transmontana
 Azores
 Madeira
Home
 Home