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  • Writer's pictureCátia Rodrigues

Serra da Esperança - an open-air museum

More than just a place of contemplation, Serra da Esperança, where TheVagar is located, is the cradle of Belmonte's history. Here are located two of the most important examples of the regional built heritage. They are Castro da Chandeirinha and Ruínas da Fórnea.

Castro da Chandeirinha is a small village from the Late Bronze/ Iron Age. It is located on the southern extremity of the Esperança mountain range, and was built on the basis of the Castro culture. Its purpose was, therefore, the defence of the territory. The resident population enjoyed, not only a privileged view over all the surrounding area, but also all the resources necessary for their survival, such as fertile soils, abundant water, stones and metals. Today, next to TheVagar, the ruins of this village remain, allowing us to relive the local history.

In the past, the Ruínas da Fórnea were part of the lands of the Serra da Esperança. When its historical and cultural value was discovered, the former owners made a point of donating the land to IGESPAR, currently the Directorate-General of Cultural Heritage. But they are right there, very close to TheVagar. Today they are called Villa da Quinta da Fórnea. This is a Roman farm, with about one hectare, dating from the 2nd century AD. It is believed to have belonged to a wealthy family, as it has all the amenities you can imagine. The house has several rooms, there is an olive press, animal pens, an iron foundry, a spa area, gardens and a gutter system for the water supply. The state of conservation is surprisingly exceptional, which facilitates the preservation of the regional memory.

Serra da Esperança

Belmonte's pedestrian route, integrated in the pedestrian routes of the Historical Villages of Portugal, covers these two sites, so it is an excellent opportunity to get to know them. Another option, is to visit TheVagar, walk through the charming Serra da Esperança and explore the spaces.

At the end of the day you can enjoy a Serra da Estrela cheese tasting while participating in the fire ritual. Alternatively, you can take a yoga class in full communion with nature. If you prefer the cosiness of home, you can stay in your room, we will light your fireplace and recommend a good book.

Narrative. Culture. Legacy. This is what the concept of hospitality at TheVagar is all about. The connection with the roots is immediate. Breathe. Listening. Feel. Participate. The past blends with the present. The future comes TheVagar. History will never be the same again!


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