Monsanto de Idanha-a-Nova – Awe-inspiring Stone Village, Portugal

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Updated May 6, 2017 / Joรฃo Leitรฃo / 9 Comments / Filed in: / Reading time 3 minutes
Monsanto de Idanha-a-Nova - Awe-inspiring Stone Village, Portugal

Monsanto de Idanha-a-Nova – Awe-inspiring Stone Village, Portugal

Monsanto

Monsanto Stone Village in Portugal

Monsanto Stone Village in Portugal

Monsanto is a unique granite built village in the center-east part of Portugal.

Settled among huge stones on the top of the Cabeรงo de Monsanto hill, the village is of an incredible and unusual beauty.

The streets of Monsanto are sided with granite houses, embedded in colossal stones. We can walk up the village until we reach the castle from where we enjoy amazing views over the region all the way to the Spanish border.

House built in the stones

House built in the stones

The human presence in Monsanto dates back as early as the Lower Paleolithic (early Stone Age during the ice-ages), but the site was also inhabited by the Romans, the Visigoths and the Arabs.

The Muslim rule of Monsanto lasted until 1165 when King D. Afonso Henriques defeated them.

Consequently King D. Afonso Henriques donated Monsanto and the surrounding lands to the Order of the Knights Templar with the responsibility of repopulate and defend it.

It was during the 12th century that Monsanto castle and village were re-established and used as a main strategic defensive outpost against the Kingdom of Leรณn.

Portugal origins by date: The Foundation – year 868, Re-founding – year 1095, Sovereignty – year 1128, Established Kingdom – year 1139.

๐Ÿ“ท Photos of Monsanto de Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal

View of Monsanto Hill in Portugal

View of Monsanto Hill in Portugal

Monsanto village is located in Cabeรงo de Monsanto hill that rises up to 758 meters / 2486 feet.

Stone cross on the streets of Monsanto village

Stone cross on the streets of Monsanto village

Stone Village of Monsanto Portugal

Stone Village of Monsanto Portugal

View of Monsanto surroundings

View of Monsanto surroundings

Monsanto breathtaking views over Idanha-a-Nova municipality are impressive. We can actually see Spain on a clear day.

Monsanto from above on the way to the castle

Monsanto from above on the way to the castle

Granite stone house in Monsanto village

Granite stone house in Monsanto village

Street in Monsanto

Street in Monsanto

Handicraft inside a shop

Handicraft inside a souvenir shop

View of inside the Monsanto Castle

View of inside the Monsanto Castle

The castle of Monsanto is located on top of the hill and its defensive structure is reinforced by several square towers.

Capela de Sรฃo Miguel do Castelo chapel inside the castle

Capela de Sรฃo Miguel do Castelo chapel inside the castle

The Capela de Sรฃo Miguel do Castelo or Chapel of Saint Michael of the Castle is a Romanesque chapel in ruins, dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, located outside the Monsanto castle walls.

Monsanto stone castle

Monsanto stone castle

Inside Monsanto Castle in Portugal

Inside Monsanto Castle in Portugal

Street view

Street view

The houses in Monsanto are squeezed between enormous stones, while tiny gardens separated by stone walls carved into the living rock merge with them.

Huge stone, house and lamp

Huge stone, house and lamp

On the streets of the village there are stones larger than the houses around.

Beautiful Village in Portugal

Beautiful Village in Portugal

Houses built between giant rocks.

Monsanto Panorama

Monsanto Panorama

Igreja Matriz main church in Monsanto

Igreja Matriz main church in Monsanto

Igreja Matriz is a Baroque church dating from the year 1768. This is Monsanto’s main church.

Monsanto Welcome sign

Monsanto Welcome sign

On the sign is written: Welcome to Monsanto. The most Portuguese village of Portugal.

Monsanto village

Monsanto village

Stone houses in Monsanto

Stone houses in Monsanto

Monsanto - Portugal

Monsanto – Portugal

Capela do Espรญrito Santo chapel in Monsanto

Capela do Espรญrito Santo chapel in Monsanto

The Capela do Espรญrito Santo or Chapel of the Holy Spirit from the 16th century, presents a facade of Renaissance style with a small steeple.

Oranges and lemons of Monsanto

Oranges and lemons of Monsanto

There are many orange and lemon trees in Monsanto. We can easily pick some up to have a light healthy snack.

Cannon-Village-Monsanto

Cannon Square in Monsanto

Monsanto held a very important strategic location. It’s military importance was vital for the protection of the Kingdom.

Visual artist shares inspiring photos and exotic travel destinations. Adventure travel blogger with ideas and narratives to motivate independent travelers and audacious backpackers. Intense journeys into more than 126 countries around Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania since 1999. Expat in Morocco - North Africa since 2007, polyglot and proud Lonely Planet Pathfinders blogger.

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9 Comments. Leave new

agnaldo gomes de jesus
September 15, 2015 3:53 pm

iremos viajar para portugal e irei aproveitar essa dica sobre essa aldeia, quando voltar informo que eu achei, por enquanto obrigado pela dica.

Reply

Your photos are breathtaking. Monsanto is definitely a place worth visiting. with tons of sites to explore, it wouldn’t be surprising that travelers and adventurers will be drawn to this amazing place. Thank you for sharing this!

Reply

Monsanto is really nice. It’s really like you see in the pictures. It’s wonderful to wander about during the day, especially if the weather is nice. I wouldn’t spend more than a day to visit. At night there is not much going on but you can go for a romantic dinner and magical walk on what seems like a village out of a movie.

Reply

Hello Nuno thank your nice feedback about Monsanto. That romantic idea is also nice to think about next time I visit the village. I just spend the whole morning there, so no night activity for me. Big hug all the way from Ouarzazate! Very nice to have your company for lunch last week in Lisbon. Thanks!

Reply

Itยดs an unique village in Portugal! A true gem ๐Ÿ™‚ Great article Joรฃo.
Hugs from Lisbon

Reply

Hey there travelers! Thank you for visiting my page and commenting my Monsanto post. Indeed this is an unique place to visit while in Portugal. big hug!

Reply

One of my favorite historical villages in Portugal!

Reply

Hey Pedro! thanks for commenting! It’s a pleasure to get your message on my blog. Indeed Monsanto is a marvelous site. I had the pleasure, as I know you also had to visit all the other historical villages of Portugal. This small country edged in Western Europe is a hidden historical and heritage treasure. big hug all the way from Morocco!

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