|Ponte de Lima is 25 km.
east of Viana do Castelo. The town is named after the bridge which crosses
the River Lima into the town. This historical bridge has 24 arches of which
four, on the south bank, are the original roman construction.
The town is overlooked by watch towers, built in the fourteenth century which, together with the whitewashed houses make it an attractive town. Some women still go down to the river to wash their clothes and hang them out on the river banks to dry.
The are many magnificent palaces and manor houses in the town and surrounding area of which a large number now receive house guests. This is an acceptable method of partially opening the houses to the public in return for state aid for restoration of the houses. They have all been beautifully restored and add character and beauty to the area. In many cases the titles of the owners are older than the nation itself.
Since 1125 a traditional market has been held on the sands at the bank of the river Lima on alternate Mondays. Here you can buy embroided linen, tin lamps, carved wooden furniture, blankets rugs and wickerwork, all of which is made locally.
The local co-operative produces
one of the best 'Vinho Verde' wines. These are naturally slightly sparkling
and continue a tradition brought to the area by the romans. Unfortunately
the wine does not travel well and if returning home by air, you must consume
plenty before you leave!
In September, the 'New Fairs' dating from the 12th Century are held. This is a local festival dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows but full of merrymaking, singing, folk dancing, colourful processions and the market.
The town is slowly providing facilities for the tourist and now there is a new golf course in the beautiful Lima Valley.
The tourist office considers the following worth visiting:
The Parish Church (Igreja
The Municipal Library
As this small prison did not have a chapel a local benefactor built a small chapel nearby with the altar being visible from the prison window.
Since it is only 4 metres
in width it is now only used for pedestrians.