Monsanto Castle, Beira Baxia, Portugal

Monsanto, Portugal

Monsanto is located in the Beira Baixa Province of Portugal and the officially titled Historic Village was once fortified by the Knights Templar. Monsanto has claimed to be the most ancient settlement in Portugal, as there are traces of early stone age man from the ice age. Nowadays Monsanto revels in once being bestowed the accolade of being Portugal’s most Portuguese village, but what makes Monsanto so special?

There are amazing views of the surrounding countryside but the beauty of Monsanto lies in the fusion of natural granite and the man-made buildings of the village.  The incredible huddle of atmospheric houses are part boulder and part man-made from the granite which the mountainside village rises from; ceilings, walls, floors all organically incorporate the massive exposed granite boulders.  The streets are cut through the rock, one house is known as the ‘house with one tile’ a two hundred tonne boulder somehow acts as a complete roof!  We had never seen a village like this, and the boys were amazed by the enormity of the granite boulders and wanted to climb and jump onto the gargantuan rocks.

Granite Boulder House, Monsanto, Beira Baxia, Portugal

Granite Cottage, Monsanto, Beira Baxia, Portugal

Squeezing past the Boulders, Monsanto, Beira Baxia, Portugal

We enjoyed a walk from the viewpoint laden with cannons up past the church, grotto, ancient pig pens and up to the castle.  The castle itself was destroyed in the 19th Century after an unfortunate explosion in the ammunition depot, but the ruin still remains.  As the June temperature exceeded forty degrees we kept the walk short, stayed as much in the shade as we could and enjoyed the spectacular views and magical buildings.

Amazing Views from Monsanto, Beira Baxia, Portugal

Walking Down from the Castle, Monsanto, Beira Baxia, Portugal

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Post Author: Topsy Turvy Tribe

Paul & Andrea ex-pats escaping the rat race with Chaos (aged 4) and Mayhem (aged 2) along for the adventure.

14 thoughts on “Monsanto, Portugal

    John Adams

    (July 2, 2017 - 7:40 am)

    Now you see I saw Monsanto and immediately thought “dubious agro-chemical giant”. Glad to see it has a more innocent namesake! What a stunning destination and amazing houses. Looks like a stunning location. I do love Portugal.
    John Adams recently posted…An impressive display from the Red ArrowsMy Profile

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (July 8, 2017 - 9:23 pm)

      I just had to google this John, never knew it was the name of a big company! Monsanto really is a very unspoilt part of Portugal and well worth seeking out!

    Fiona Cambouropoulos

    (July 2, 2017 - 9:49 am)

    Such amazing views, it looks beautiful there
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Finding our Coombe Mill in GreeceMy Profile

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (July 8, 2017 - 9:21 pm)

      Thanks Fiona, you can really see for miles around as Monsanto is so high up on a huge granite rock!

    darren coleshill

    (July 2, 2017 - 9:51 am)

    What a wonderful looking part of Portugal, I’ve never been to Portugal and must visit

    Thank you for linking up

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (July 8, 2017 - 9:19 pm)

      Thanks for hosting! Portugal has so many hidden gems and is well worth adding to your travel bucket list!

    Emma Raphael

    (July 2, 2017 - 12:41 pm)

    I thought of the company when I read the name too, such a stunning place! Must add it to my ever expanding list! #sundayphoto
    Emma Raphael recently posted…Sunday Photo – Lavenham GuildhallMy Profile

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (July 8, 2017 - 9:18 pm)

      Thanks Emma, it’s a great place to visit if you make it to Portugal do add it to your list!

    Tara

    (July 2, 2017 - 3:54 pm)

    That house with the boulder is insane! What an amazing place. Thanks for sharing. #MySundayPhoto
    Tara recently posted…My Sunday Photo – July 2nd, 2017.My Profile

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (July 8, 2017 - 9:16 pm)

      Thanks Tara, it really is a unique place, fascinating to explore!

    Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays

    (July 2, 2017 - 7:29 pm)

    Love the boulder looming over the house #MySundayPhoto
    Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays recently posted…NEW OPENING at the V&A My Profile

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (July 8, 2017 - 9:15 pm)

      Thanks Catherine, it really is an amazing piece of engineering!

    Notmyyearoff

    (July 2, 2017 - 7:45 pm)

    The stone houses are so cool. I wonder if rain ever sneaks in around the edges of the boulder roof? 🙂
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Family time and BBQsMy Profile

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (July 8, 2017 - 9:14 pm)

      Ha ha, It does rain a lot in Portugal in the winter but the roofs looked pretty solid 🙂

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