Although technically in the Beira Alta region, the attractive town of LAMEGO, 11km south of Régua, is easily accessible from the Douro, with which it shares a passion for wine – in this case, Raposeira, Portugal’s answer to champagne. The town also has one of the greatest Baroque structures in Europe – the dominant shrine of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios – which plays host to an annual pilgrimage from late August to early September. There are more fine churches and monasteries in the surrounding verdant valleys, a legacy of the twelfth-century Reconquista, when Lamego was among the first towns to be retaken from the Moors. Elegant quintas and manor houses, offering atmospheric accommodation, are also to be found in the environs.
Once through the fairly charmless modern outskirts, the overriding impression is of the luxuriant architecture of its manor houses and churches. Much of Lamego’s early wealth derived from its position astride a valuable trade route from the Beiras to the Douro, but the town’s real importance stems from its history: in 1143, Lamego hosted Portugal’s first parliament, when a group of clergy and noblemen assembled to recognize Afonso Henriques as the nation’s first king. As such, Lamego lays claim to being the birthplace of both country and crown, something hotly disputed by Afonso Henriques’ birthplace, Guimarães.Read More