Viseu, Portugal

Discover the historical city of Viseu, capital of Beira Alta, in the Central Region of Portugal. 

Viseu, Portugal
Viseu, Portugal
© José Alfredo

Viseu, along with Coímbra, is one of the most attractive cities in the Region of Beiras, Portugal.

It is a city with a farming vocation, located on the banks of the Paiva River. It has an excellently preserved historical centre, with stone-paved streets, alleys, public gardens, and a charming central square well-known as Praça da República or Rossio, adorned with bright-coloured flowers and fountains.

Viseu is the capital city of Beira Alta, bishopric since the Visigothic times, and boasting a rich history.

In the highest point of the city stands the Sé (cathedral) in a late Gothic and Manueline style, built over the remains of an old Mosque, with a Religious Art Museum.

 

Ruas Viseu
Ruas Viseu
© Vítor Ribeiro

The old Episcopal Palace is home to the Grão Vasco Museum, focused in the work of the Renaissance painter Vasco Fernandes.

Other interesting locations are the Igreja da Misericórdia Church, Baroque in style and with two bell towers; and the Almeida Moreira Art Museum.

The city is an excellent place to enjoy some of the delicious dishes of the Portuguese cuisine as well as the wines from the Dão Region.

The most important yearly event is the Feira de São Mateus celebration, a farming and crafting one held in late August or early September, with folkloric music, fireworks, and amusement rides.

Some spots you might consider visiting in Viseu are: the town of São Pedro do Sul, located in the confluence of the Sul and Vouga rivers, a town that maintains a charming atmosphere. It is worth noting the Convent of Conceição, San Antonio Chapel, and Marquês de Reriz Palace. A complex of Roman Baths lies just three kilometres far from here.

To the East, along the valley of Vouga (six kilometres far from the Roman Baths) lies the town of Vouzela, with its church from the 13th century. Here you will have the chance to visit the Igreja da Misericórdia Church, adorned with 18th century tiles, and the Joanina de São Frei Gil Chapel.

Northeastern of Vouzela lies the Cambarinho Flora Reserve, that houses the Convent of São Cristovão de Lafões. It was established in 1157 by D. João Peculiar, who would become Bishop of Porto.

In the east of Viseu it’s recommended to visit the manor houses: the Palace of the Counts of Anadia (17th century), located in the city of Mangualde; or the Casa da Ínsula House (18th century), in the town of Penalva do Castelo.

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