Situated in the Port wine demarcated region, Sabrosa still retains various features from the time of its settlement in the Neolithic period (dolmens and cromlechs) and some hill-top forts from the Iron Age, amongst them Castro da Sancha, which was altered during the period of the region s occupation by the Romans. Still remaining from mediaeval times are some Palaeo-Christian tombs, and in the surrounding region is the village of Provesende, whose foundation dates back to the period before Portugal´ formation as a kingdom.
Sabrosa was the birthplace of Fernão de Magalhães (Magellan), the great fifteenth-century Portuguese navigator and the first man to circumnavigate the world. After the Douro region had been demarcated for wine production in the eighteenth century, the town embarked on a period of great development, and most of its impressive manor houses date from that time.
This is a council located on the banks of the Douro River, where obviously the cultivation of vines prevails. The relief of the land combined with the vineyards produces magnificent landscapes, as is the case for example of the view from the Chapel of Our Lady of Azinheira or from Saint Domingos Mount. The region has been inhabited since very remote times. The numerous archaeological remains found here make it an open window to the past. From the Neolithic period, there are several chamber tombs. The "castro" culture is present through the existence of several of these fortified camps. The most famous and well studied is in the immediate vicinity of Sabrosa.
From the time of the Romanisation, which was intense here, some pavements have survived in various places. Most of the villages date from mediaeval times, although some were built even before the founding of the nation. Except for some royal charters, however, little is known of its history, except that in the 15th century, there was already a privileged class of nobles. It is believed that the explorer, FerdinandMagellan, was born in Sabrosa, in such a family. Many manor houses still exist and are an important part of the council s architectural heritage. Provesende, for example, is what can be called a land of manor houses. There are also churches of interest in Celeirós, São Lourenço de Ribapinhão, Vilarinho de São Romão and Sabrosa. One aspect that cannot be overlooked is the succulent gastronomy: roast kid served with oven-baked rice, "cozido à portuguesa" (Portuguese stew) and "bolas de carne" (meat pie). The desserts include "pão-de-ló" (kind of spongecake), "cavacas altas" (glazed cookies) and "cavaquinhas". The splendid wines of Sabrosa, which forms part of the Douro
Demarcated Region, accompany these specialties to perfection: the table wines for the more substantial dishes, the fine wines for the desserts. Craftwork has perhaps lost the remarkable vitality of other times. But those who love the craftsman s art and creativity will still be enthused by the handicrafts found here: cooperage, basketware, cabinet making, lace, tinware and clogs.
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