The statue in Trancoso’s Praça do Municipio might at first seem puzzling – a gentleman with a cobbler’s last and shoe, and a rolled parchment in hand. It is the supposed likeness of the town’s most famous son, Gonçalo Bandarra, a humble sixteenth-century shoemaker given to versifying – and, more to the point, coming up with prophecies that predicted the end of the world and the return of a hero-like king to save Portugal. The Inquisition took a dim view of this sort of thing and Bandarra was punished, and his verses banned, but the prophecies took on a life of their own with the later destruction of the cream of Portuguese nobility at the battle of Alcáçer-Quibir in Morocco (1578). The young crusader-king Dom Sebastião – killed in battle – was held by many to be the hero-king who would one day return to free Portugal from the Spanish yoke, and Bandarra was posthumously elevated to the status of a Nostradamus figure. He was eventually honoured with a tomb in the town’s Igreja de São Pedro.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
Where to eat in Lisbon: an area-by-area guide

Where to eat in Lisbon: an area-by-area guide

Lisbon has rightly garnered a reputation as being one of Europe’s hippest cities – but Portuguese cuisine remains somewhat unknown. Rest assured, though, Li…

24 Aug 2017 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
The 10 best beaches in Portugal

The 10 best beaches in Portugal

For many travellers, Portugal is synonymous with images of golden sun-baked beaches. And with a generous 1700 kilometres of coastline, there’s enough sand for…

28 Jul 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right