Discover Porto with us and explore Portugal with our tips! Today: Viseu.
Viseu is a charming city in Central Portugal known as the “garden-city”, and in 2012 was considered the city with the best quality of life in the whole country. Its history goes back to pre-Roman times and is full of stories of battles, heroes, kings and queens! Viseu is associated with the figure of the Lusitanian hero Viriato, who was a leader and soldier that battle against the Roman domination in the Iberian Peninsula.
Nowadays Viseu is a great destination for those who love culture and History! With beautiful churches, museums and ancient places, it’s worth it to spend a day there to discover its hidden gems. It’s also a good place to stop and visit on your way to Serra da Estrela or if you’re heading to Spain.
Viseu is the birthplace of Grão Vasco, one of the most important painters in Portugal in the 16th century, and has a museum in his honor. The Grão Vasco Museum was founded in 1916 and holds a collection with important works, mainly painting and sculpture, highlighting some masterpieces of Portuguese Renaissance. It is a must-visit place in Viseu!
Another monument you should check is the city’s Cathedral, located in one of the highest places in town. It was built in the beginning of the 12th century but went through many renovation works between the 13th and 17th centuries. It holds the first Renaissance cloister in Portugal and its treasures are displayed in the church’s museum.
Close to the Cathedral is the Misericórdia Church, built in the 16th century. After renovation works in the 18th century it got its current Baroque features, including a beautiful pipe organ and a oil painting representing Our Lady of Misery done by “Pintor Gata”, a local artist. It also has a museum that shows to the public a collection of objects related to the institution’s history.
If you are interested in archaeology and its mysteries, you can visit Casa de Viriato, one of the most emblematic works of ancient engineer in the Iberian Peninsula! It is a big mystery because its origins are still unknown – some say it was built in the 1st century by the Romans, others attributed to the Islamic… And also its connection to the figure of Viriato is nothing but a myth! What is known for sure is that it was a military fortress, occupying an area of 32 acres, with an octagon form and and intricate hydraulic system for water supply. It is considered a National Monument since 1910.
Moving forward to present times, Viseu has some great street art works for you to check! The city holds a Street Art Festival since 2015 and it’s been promoting new works from various artists since then. You can see the map with all the indications here on this link!
We hope you liked our suggestion and go visit Viseu after exploring Porto with us! Check here other tips of places to explore near Porto.
And don’t forget: to see everything Porto has to offer, book a tour! Let’s visit monuments full of history and the most contemporary side of the city – Porto has it all, and we know every corner of it ;)