Paredes de Coura

In a region with a rich archeologic patrimony, Paredes de Coura had an important role during the war against Spain to regain the independence in the 17th century. In the last decade, this village hosts one of the most importants rock festivals in Portugal, int the margins of Coura river.

Situated in a region that has many sites of great archaeological interest, Paredes de Coura was particularly important during the Wars of Restoration fought between Portugal and Spain in the seventeenth century. In recent years, the town has begun to attract large crowds of young people in August, who are drawn here by the music festival held on the banks of the River Coura. Essentially rural, the county of Paredes de Coura lies at the heart of the High Minho region, characterized by its green sceneries, picturesque villages and steep hills. The seat of the county, Paredes de Coura, is a small and pleasant town with houses clinging to a slope which descends to the beautiful valley of the river Coura. Although with no great monuments, it has a beautiful 17th-century pillory and the Baroque church of the Holy Spirit, rebuilt in the 18th century and exhibiting fine gilded woodwork and valuable images. The lack of monumental wealth is largely compensated by a number of interesting archaeological sites, such as those around the village of Rubiães (dolmens and Roman milestones). At Padornelo, it is worth visiting the church of Ecce-Homo (1776). Fine examples of rural architecture (windmills, stone granaries, threshing-floors) may still be seen at the parishes of Porreiras and Insalde, among others. In spite of the county s bucolic beauty, the name of Paredes de Coura would be little known in other parts of Portugal if it wasn t for the big open-air rock festival which is held every summer and attracts thousands of visitors to the tranquil town, changing its rural atmosphere for a few days.

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