bridge of Lima is a Portuguese village, belonging to the district of Viana do Castelo. In full minhoit is well known for its gastronomy, namely for its sarrabulho rice, but there is much more to explore in this town.
The historic center of Ponte de Lima is stunning and a good starting point to get to know the town from the inside, its heritage, dynamics and activities. So, before sitting down to the table, enjoy everything that Ponte de Lima has to offer, which is a lot.
Ponte de Lima: 7 must-visit spots
The historic center of Ponte de Lima is beautiful and invites you to take pleasant walks. Typical cobbled streets lead to the most picturesque and unexpected places, from a chapel to a tavern. Along the way, namely in Largo de Camões, there are benches where you can sit, recover energy and feel the pulse of the village.
Getting to know a locality well involves exploring its historic center and visiting its parish church. Therefore, there is no way not to get to know this monument that is so symbolic of any village. The exterior of the church is wonderful and, if you cannot admire the interior, it is worth photographing at least the neo-Gothic rose window on the façade, dating from 1932 3 inspired by the Church of São Francisco, in Porto.
The building dates back at least to the early 15th century, during the reign of D. João I, the Master of Avis. But it was in the mid-16th century, in an intervention begun in 1567, that the church took on its present appearance.
Most of the carving works in the interior date from the 18th century, the main one being located at the south end of the transept and consisting of a large altarpiece in the national style, dating from 1729, dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. In the second half of the 19th century, interventions were made to crown the bell tower.
One of the ex-libris of this village is undoubtedly its medieval bridge, also known as the old bridge, which crosses the river Lima. This bridge is a combination of sections.
The section that goes from the left bank to the Church of Santo António da Torre Velha, which is medieval; and the remaining section that is of Roman origin. Then, there are five arches starting from the great arch that is in a dry bed and, in the lower area, it is possible to observe the foundations of the Old Tower, one of the first of the medieval defensive system.
The Roman bridge probably dates back to the 1st century, as it was at that time that one of the military routes of the former “Conventus Bracaraugustanus” was opened, which connected Braga to Astorga, in this case Via XIX, ordered to be opened by the Emperor. Augustus.
With regard to the medieval part, one can go back in time, at least to the reigns of D. Pedro I and D. Fernando, due to a direct connection to the construction of the walls and towers that fortified the town, a work completed in 1370, or even D. Dinis.
For sure, we know of its existence in the reign of King Manuel I, more precisely in 1504, because this monarch ordered new paving and merlons to be placed to decorate the bridge, as they were no longer justified as a defensive and military option.
This Ponte de Lima icon deserves to be admired and crossed on foot. Contemplate the river, watch canoeists who use the river for their training and, on the right bank of the river, visit the Church of Santo António da Torre Velha. A little further on, there is also the Capela do Anjo da Guarda.
Chapel of the Guardian Angel
The Capela do Anjo da Guarda is a Romanesque/Gothic style, built approximately in the last quarter of the 13th century. The monument, one of the most photographed in Ponte de Lima, displays an image of São Miguel and this served as a place of worship and shelter for travellers.
Still nearby, there are garden benches to rest and catch a breath, this time to visit the Portuguese Toy Museum.
Portuguese Toy Museum
In a restored salmon-coloured building is the Portuguese Toy Museum🇧🇷 This space exhibits thousands of Portuguese toys that span generations, so it goes without saying that a visit to this museum is something that the whole family can enjoy. Board games, pawns, cars… So going there is an excellent opportunity to explain to your grandchildren or children how it was played before the age of technology.
Ecovias are in fashion and the Lima ecovia has all the conditions to attract many visitors and there are several routes, many kilometers and the banks of the river Lima always offer their best company.
On foot or by bicycle, the important thing is to exercise, especially with beautiful landscapes as a backdrop.
Well, of course, after so many walks and hikes, it’s time to sit down at the table and recover your energy with another of Ponte de Lima’s ex-libris: the famous Minho-style sarrabulho rice, with rojões, floured tripe, black pudding and potatoes accompanying fries.
As it is the typical dish of the region, almost all local restaurants have it on the menu. However, there are spaces whose sarrabulho is more famous, so here are some restaurant suggestions: