Nestledamong the terraced slopes of the Douro valley port wine-growing region, Lamego is an ancient town hidden in the mountains.
Lamego, a town of the District of Viseu, located in the Northern Region, Douro Subregion, on the south side of the River Dourois a an historical, immemorial and religious town (one of the Portuguese dioceses).
The municipality has a population of about 27,000 inhabitants. The town of Lamego has a population of about 9,000 in the historic centre and approximately 17,000 in its urban area.
Lamego is an attractive town with Renaissance and baroque mansions overlooked by two hills. On one of the hills are the ruins of a 12th century castle, on the other is the monumental baroque Sanctuary of NossaSenhora dos Remédios.
The Medieval Castle situated at the highest point of the town dates from the 12th century. This 12th century castle preserves a very old and unusual Moorish cistern, the largest in Portugal, with monograms of the master masons who built it. It’s surrounded by a cluster of ancient stone houses.
The sanctuary is one of the greatest Baroque structures in Europe, which stands gracefully above the town, on top of one of the two hills overlooking the town (Monte de São Estevão). A marvelous granite zigzagging staircase decorated with tiles, allegorical fountains, small chapels, and statues leads to this baroque church with views over the town. The sanctuary was designed by renowned architect Nasoni.
There’s an annual pilgrimage to the site on September 8th as part of a festival that starts at the end of August consisting of fireworks, a fair, concerts, and dancing, a religious procession, and a fairground. During August and September pilgrims come from all over the country to ascend the steps of this church on their knees, hoping for miracle cures.
The sanctuary was and is a major attraction. However, it is not just the sanctuary and this religious festival that make Lamego famous: it is also known for the production of sweet and sparkling wines.