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Amarante: unveiling Legends of the Enchanted City

Updated: 7 days ago



Cidade de Amarante, Portugal: lendas e curiosidades

Welcome to Amarante, the charming city in the North of Portugal. The city has more in its streets and landscapes than meets the eye.


We explored the tourist side of the city and things to do in Amarante, in the article "Amarante: A Romantic Getaway. Now, let's unveil some legends.


Amid the banks of the Tâmega River and historical buildings, Amarante is the scene of countless legends that permeate its rich history and culture.


In this post, we will reveal the secrets kept between the lines, delving deep into the fascinating narratives that shaped the identity of this enchanted city. The legends of Amarante transcend time and are intertwined with the city's history. They enrich popular culture with their fantastic characters and stories.


The central figure in the history and legends is São Gonçalo de Amarante. His life and miracles attract thousands of pilgrims every year.


Prepare for a unique journey of mysteries, charms, and traditions that make Amarante a unique destination!


Amarante: The Enchanted City Where Legends Come to Life


Get ready for an enchanting journey through the legends and traditions of Amarante, Portugal! In this small town on the banks of the Tâmega River, the past comes to life through folk stories.


1. The Enchanted Moura:

The legend of the Enchanted Moura tells the story of a Moorish princess in love with a Christian knight. Betrayed and cursed, she was turned to stone, condemned to wait forever for her love to return. They say that, on moonlit nights, the Moorish still roam the cliff. Lamenting her fate and searching for the knight who will free her from the curse.


2. Saint Gonçalo, the Matchmaker:

Venerated as a matchmaking saint, São Gonçalo is a central figure in the city's devotion. According to legend, he was a Franciscan friar who dedicated his life to uniting loved couples. It is said that, to this day, he intercedes for those who seek true love. Especially on January 10th, his party date.


3. The Legend of the Tâmega River:

The Tâmega River, which bathes the city, is also the scene of legends and mysteries. One tells the story of a giant who, furious with the city, tried to dam it with colossal stones. They say the rocks can still be seen in the riverbed. A testimony to the strength of nature and the bravery of the people of Amarante.


4. The Convent of São Gonçalo:

In the historic center, the Convento de São Gonçalo is one of the main tourist attractions in Amarante. The convent houses the tomb of the matchmaking saint and is an important pilgrimage center. The convent keeps several reports of miracles and graces attributed to São Gonçalo.


The Legends:

  1. The mysteries of São Gonçalo Bridge

  2. São Gonçalo, the Matchmaker

  3. The devils of Amarante

  4. The legend of Tâmega River

  5. The Enchanted Moura

  6. Religious Festivities


São Gonçalo Legends


The Mystery of the São Gonçalo Bridge


The São Gonçalo bridge, in addition to its historical importance, is the scene of several legends. Upon seeing the difficulties that residents faced when crossing the Tâmega River, the Frei decided to construct a bridge.


One legend says that, during its construction, São Gonçalo made a pact with the devil to help with the work. In exchange, the devil asked for the soul of the first living being to cross the bridge. Deceiving the devil, São Gonçalo made a dog the first to cross, thus saving the souls of the inhabitants of Amarante.


The bridge and its imposing arches rise over the Tâmega River as a monument to perseverance and faith.


São Gonçalo : the Matchmaker


São Gonçalo, santo casamenteiro. Amarante, Portugal

Legend has it that single women who touch the statue and pull the saint's rope in the São Gonçalo church will find a husband.


This tradition is still alive among the inhabitants and visitors, who never miss the chance to test the legend.


The story of the saint who helps lonely hearts contributed to Amarante's fame as a destination to find love.


The devils of Amarante


The famous couple of devils from Amarante spent a long time at the São Gonçalo Convent. A man and a woman, a couple of devils!


They were hardly Catholic figures when compared to the saints of the monastery. They were nothing like saints! But the monks grew fond of him.


The devils of Amarante

The wooden figures were burned during the French invasions. Unsatisfied with the destruction, the monks asked António Ferreira de Carvalho to make a replica of each.


These can be found nowadays at the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Municipal Museum.


Legend has it that, on August 24th, the devils are on the loose! But São Gonçalo defeated them and expelled them from Amarante.



Other legends and curiosities


Rio Tâmega, Amarante portugal

The Legend of the Tâmega River


The Tâmega River, which runs through the city, is not far behind in terms of legends. Its waters are said to have healing properties, a secret kept by the nymphs that inhabit the river. They say that, on full moon nights, it is possible to see them dancing on the waters, protecting the secret of their magical properties.


Many believe that bathing in or drinking river water can bring good luck and good health.


The Enchanted Moura


One of the most beautiful stories that is part of local folklore. A beautiful Moura lived on the banks of the Tâmega River and enchanted everyone with her beauty. Imprisoned during the day by occult forces, she appeared on full moon nights, dancing, enveloped in mystery and magic. They say that she guarded a treasure and that only a pure heart and true love could break the spell and free her.


Her enchanting gaze can still be felt by those who stroll along the banks of the Tâmega at nightfall!


Religious Festivals


Procissão São Gonçalo - Amarante, Portugal

Religious festivities in Amarante are full of myths and popular beliefs. On the Festival of São Gonçalo, the faithful look for the famous ribbons to find love or maintain loyalty.


The June Festivals are the most impressive pilgrimages in Portugal. The streets are filled with color, music, and dance.


The highlight is the procession that honors São Gonçalo.


Festivities, fairs, and cultural presentations! A moment of devotion and joy!


Conclusion


The legends and myths of Amarante are fundamental to the culture. They show beliefs, values, and traditions that define their inhabitants. Keeping these stories alive is essential to preserving the rich tradition and history.


If you know any other legend, tell us in the comments!



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