Walking through the streets of this village is like going back in time. A real journey back to the early days of Portugal, Monsanto, located in the centre of the country, invites us to feel intensely an important part of our history, the traditions and culture of this very special place. Who visits Monsanto, is incredibly dazzled by the landscape rigorously carved by man. The several existing caves and the imposing rocks are so well integrated, that we are left, for moments, in the doubt if they were already there before the first houses appeared - there are houses built, literally, between rocks.
Since 1938, Monsanto has held the title of "Most Portuguese Village in Portugal". Much because it belongs to us since 1165 - it was conquered by the first Portuguese king, D. Afonso Henriques - but also because its many historical monuments are very well preserved. When you visit Monsanto and look at its vast heritage of stones and rocks, think that they were placed there almost a thousand years ago and are still there. An example of this is the medieval castle of Monsanto which dates back precisely to the 12th century. It is worth every step you take to the top of the village to visit this precious monument because going up its original stairs you can enjoy a breathtaking view of plains to lose sight of.
With about 700 inhabitants, this historic village is populated by simple and friendly people, who always like to chat with those who visit them. One of the main activities of the village is still agriculture and perhaps for this reason, Monsanto manages to preserve the quality of its gastronomy, keeping the richness and originality of its aromas and flavours. But beyond this tradition at the table, in this village we can still be presented with the unique sound of "adufe", a percussion instrument made with sheepskin; or be amazed at the meaning of "marafonas", a rag doll made by the villagers, which are linked to fertility and have neither eyes nor mouths to see nor count anything.
Monsanto is all this and much more and only those who go there can feel the true essence from the place. A place guided by history and traditions that are very unique. A place where you can breathe nature and that invites you to enjoy the dazzling landscapes, sounds and
, the people themselves and what they have to tell. A very Portuguese place that Different Portugal is proud to show you.