Monsanto is a Portuguese freguesia in Idanha-a-Nova, with 131.76 km² and 828 inhabitants (June 30 2011). Density: 8.8 hab/km². It was the principal town of the concelho between 1174 and the beginning of the 19th century, and the county seat in the period of 1758-1853. In recent decades, Monsanto has become popularly known as "the most Portuguese village of Portugal" in a class of twelve classified historic villages in Portugal. The emblem of Portugal, the Silver Rooster (Galo de Prata), designed by Abel Pereira da Silva, can be seen atop the Clock Tower or Lucano.
The mountain Monsanto (Latin: Mons Sanctus) rises abruptly to the East of the Idanha-a-Nova up to 758 meters above sea level.
The earliest traces of man is from Early Stone Age at the time of the ice-ages. Later, Romans settled at the base of the mountain. Also traces from Visigoth in the early Middle Ages and even earlier Arab presence has been found in the area.
In the 12th century, King Afonso Henriques conquered Monsanto from the Moors as part of the Christian recapturing the Iberian Peninsula. In 1165, he granted the custody of the city to a knights' order of the church, first to the Order of Knights Templar, and later to the Order of Santiago. The city was given to the military orders to maintain the reconquested city on Christian hands, and Grand Master the Order of Knights Templar, Gualdim Pais, was manager of the building of the fortress. Later, King Sancho I of Portugal reconstructed and repopulated it after the wars with the Leonese (see Kingdom of León). Unfortunately, the medieval castle was destroyed in the nineteenth century because of an explosion in the ammunition depot of the castle.
The mountain rock is granite, which also the historic and present village is built upon in a fusion of nature and its landforms. This fusion can be seen in the uses of caves and rocks being converted into construction parts.
- Castelo de Monsanto
- Capela de São Pedro de Vir à Corça o Capela de São Pedro de Vira-Corça
- Estação arqueológica romana de São Lourenço
- Aldeia Velha de Monsanto
- Pelourinho de Monsanto
- Torre de Lucano
- Capela da Senhora da Azenha
- Capela da Senhora do Pé da Cruz
- Capela de Santa Maria do Castelo
- Capela de Santo António
- Capela de São José
- Capela de São Miguel do Castelo
- Capela de São Sebastião
- Capela do Espírito Santo
- Fonte Ferreiro
- Igreja da Misericórdia de Monsanto
- Igreja Matriz de Monsanto or Igreja de São Salvador
- Solar da Família do Marquês da Graciosa (Posto de Turismo do Monsanto)
- Solar da Família Melo or Solar dos Condes de Monsanto
- Solar da Família Pinheiro or Solar da Fonte do Mono
- Solar dos Priores de Monsanto
Media related to Monsanto at Wikimedia Commons
- The Monsanto's freguesia
- Radio Clube of Monsanto
- History of Portugal at Wikipedia History of Portugal