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The continuous millenarian occupation of the territory, has left different types of vestiges, namely the dolmens, the Castros (pre-historic buildings), the roman roads and villas, the rocky castles, the medieval towers and bridges, the romanic and baroque churches, the rupestrian and Marian sanctuaries, the pillories, the market-crosses, the alminhas (places of devotion), the manor houses and with coat of arms, the places to dry the cereals, the corn-loft, the olive-presses, the utensiles used with linen production, the hydraulic sawmills and the traditional rural houses.
The * is the main historical reference and one of the ex-libris of the council. This castle was of major importance in the foundation of the Portuguese nationality, having been a bulkwark of the Christian Reconquest. There, D. Teresa, mother of King D. Afonso Henriques sought refuge against the armies of her sister D. Urraca, that surrounded it, but unable to conquer it, came to an agreement, signing the Treaty of Lanhoso. This has been the most important event that took place at the castle, and undoubtably important to the foundation of Portugal.
The Castle of Lanhoso was also stage of an event that took place during the last decades of the twelfth century, when D. Inês Sanches was unfaithful to her husband D. Rodrigo Gonçalves Pereira. The angry husband convinced that his wife had betrayed him set the castle on fire, burning his wife and her lover, as well as all the accomplices.
In 1292 King D. Dinis granted the * that instituted the council of Lands of Lanhoso. In 1514, the council of Lanhoso received another charter, this time granted by King D. Manuel I, replacing the former charter. Other great symbol of Póvoa de Lanhoso is related to Revolta da * (Rebellion of Maria da Fonte) in 1846. It was an historical event that began in this council spreading all over the country, in a movement against the governing of the Cabrais.
The seat of the county, Póvoa de Lanhoso, is dominated by its castle, rising on top of a hill and where queen Teresa, mother of the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, lived for long periods and where it is said he emprisoned her after the Battle of São Mamede (1128), fought to win control of the county of Portucale. Although the castle was much altered over the ages, its fine walls and turrets are worth admiring, as well as the views it offers over the boulders and wooded slopes of the mountains of Gerês and Cabreira and the beautiful valleys of the rivers Ave and Cávado. At about three kilometres (two miles) from the town, it is also worth visiting the Romanesque church of Fonte Arcada, dating from the 12th century. To the south of the county, the Sanctuary of the Lady of Porta de Ave, at Taíde, dates from the 18th century and was built with money sent by local emigrants in Brazil. Besides the octagonal church, the sanctuary exhibits a stairway climbing up the slope with chapels featuring figures and scenes from the life of Christ. Although it no longer attracts a large number of pilgrims, the sanctuary, surrouded by great oaks, chestnut-trees and cork-oaks, is an extremely pleasant site. In terms of gastronomy, visitors to Póvoa de Lanhoso will find a delicious roast kid, excellent veal and the typical maize bread of Northern Portugal.