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Revision as of 17:42, 18 March 2010
Viana do Castelo is one of the most beautiful portuguese cities, in the Minho-Lima subregion of Northern Portugal. The Pilgrimage of Nossa Senhora da Agonia and the amazing views of the Lima River maked this city unforgettable. Classified as the Mecca of Architecture by Wallpaper (), the city is famous for the monuments in and around the city, and the surrounding natural beauty.
The Legend of Rio Lima
It is said that when the Roman legions arrived in the first century C.E. at the falls of the Lima River, they were so taken aback with the landscape that they thought they were at the gates of paradise, with the River Lethes, the famed river of forgetfulness at their feet. The men refused to take another step. The then Councilor who accompanied them charged ahead and crossed it alone. He was then only able to convince the others it was safe by calling out the name of each and every man, to prove that the river hadn't caused him to forget everything.
The closest airport is Sá Carneiro International Airport in Porto, with frequent flights from Lisbon, Madeira, and many principal European cities.
The train station of Viana do Castelo is located in this borough, and there is a train to almost every city in the country, such as Lisbon, Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Fátima, Figueira da Foz, Portimão, Porto, Guimarães and Guarda.
Some companies, such as AVIC have connections to Porto and Lisboa.
The two main highways through town are:
- A28 - Connects the town to Porto, Matosinhos, Leça da Palmeira, Póvoa de Varzim, Apúlia/Barcelos, Esposende, Vila Praia de Âncora and Caminha.
- A27 - Connects the town to Ponte de Lima and Ponte da Barca.
The Eiffel Bridge, designed by Gustave Eiffel, architect of the famous Paris
The most obvious way to see the town is on foot. Most of the city's attractions and a large part of its shopping are found in the historic downtown, quite close to each other, and many pathways downtown are pedestrian-only.
AVIC and Transcunha city buses ply the streets.
Traffic is light, and roads are clearly marked.
- Avis Rent-a-Car, Rua de Gotim 35, tel. +351-258 817 540, .
- Marco Portugal Rent-a-Car, Rua Emídio Navarro 9, tel. +351-258 813 800, .
- Europcar, Praça General Barbosa 124, tel. +351-813370, .
- Former City Hall - Built in the 16th century, it is located in the Praça da República. In the facade you can see the coat of arms of the city.
- Sá Family House - An ancient building, also in the Praça da República, with a beautiful facade. It was projected by João Lopes, the same architect that projected the fountain in the middle of the square.
- Basilica of Santa Luzia, on Mt. St. Luzia) - Constructed in 1903, it was inspired by the Sacré Coeur de Montmartre in Paris. From the basilica's location on top of Mount St. Luzia, there are spectacular views of the city and the beach. You can reach the basilica either by car via the Santa Luzia highway, or by taking the Santa Luzia Elevator.
- Gil Eanes Naval Museum - A floating naval hospital constructed in 1952 and which operated until 1973. It is now open to the public as a kind of museum, housing the original equipment.
- Fountain at Praça da República - This granite fountain, richly adorned with carved figures, was built by João Lopes in the 16th century.
- Catedral, on the Largo da Matriz. The cathedral is Gothic in style, with Galician influence, and has two large towers.
- Fort of Santiago da Barra, on Campo do Castelo. Consisting of an quadrangular outer wall with the Roqueta tower in the center, this fort was constructed during the reign of Dom Manuel I.
- Church of St. Domingos, Largo de São Domingos. - The church of the old Santa Cruz convents, founded by Frei Bartolomeu dos Mártires.
- Viana Municipal Museum, Largo de São Domingos.
- Viana crockery, . The most traditional craft of the city is sold in many local shops, as well as in the factory in Meadela. The Viana Municipal Museum, in the Palacete Barbosa Maciel, hosts a vast collection of it as well.
Local specialties include bacalhau à margarida da praça (a cod dish), pescada Vianense (local fish), and caldo verde (green soup).
- Taberna do Valentim, Rua Monsenhor Daniel Machado 180, tel.+351-258 827 505. Specializing in local fish.
- A Messe, Rua de Viana 112, tel. (+351) 258 825 668.
- As Quatro Colunas, Rua João Paulo II - Meadela, tel. (+351) 258 845 425.
- Astúrias, Largo 5 de Outubro, tel. (+351) 258 823 814.
- Átrio, Rua da Gramática, 77, tel. (+351) 258 823 944.
- Covas, Rua Prior do Crato, tel. (+351) 258 828 376.
- Casa D'Armas, Largo 5 de Outubro, 30, tel. +351-258 824 999. Splendid seafood restaurant on the banks of the river.
- Cozinha das Malheiras, Rua Gago Coutinho 19, tel. +351-258 823 680. Regional cuisine in historic downtown, famous for its rojões, as well as for its cabrito (goat) and its seafood.
- Casa de Pasto Maria de Perre, Rua de Viana, 118, tel.: +351-258 822 410.
- Restaurante Camelo, Rua de Santa Marta 119, Estrada Nacional 202 - Santa Marta de Portuzelo (on the outskirts of town), tel. +351-258 839 090. One of the best places to try local cuisine.
- Restaurante Náutico, Praça da Galiza, tel. +351-258 822 330.
- Restaurante da Casa Melo Alvim, Avenida Conde da Carreira 28, tel. +351-258 808 200.
- Restaurante Ásia, Avenida da Praia Norte, tel. 258 838 372. Beachside Asian restaurant featuring a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai dishes.
- The Margarida da Praça. Visit our website for reservations online at www.margaridadapraca.com