VILLAGES

Cerdeira

lousã mountain
Lousã MountainCerdeira
Cerdeira
cerdeira, lousã
Where inspiration lives. Walking through the village is a physical and sensory experience. At every step there is a nook, a blind alley, something that one does not know whether it was put there by man or by nature. There are no dissonances. There is just the sound of tranquillity.

As we enter Cerdeira, going down to the little brook, we are struck by the higgledy-piggledy buildings. The dominant tone of the schist is juxtaposed with the green of the slopes, the blue of the sky and the white of the clouds.

The inhabitants of this and other villages must have attended the university of the mountains. The houses were built on a rocky hillside to avoid occupying the scarce flatter areas, which were given over to agriculture. A work of engineering surrounded the village with a staircase of terraces holding back the soil that rain and erosion carried down the slope. The siting and the architecture of the buildings seems to follow a plan that aims to astound twenty-first century visitors.

Cerdeira is a magical place. At the entrance to the village, a small bridge leads us to a handful of houses peeping through the foliage. It seems like we are crossing the portal to a fantasy world. Everything appears perfect in this deeply romantic setting. The slate path points the way to a spring hidden among lush vegetation.

Between steep slopes rent by watercourses tumbling down from higher up, Cerdeira nestles in the most bucolic of surroundings. This is a village that art and creativity have helped to restructure. It is currently a place of artistic creation, through international artistic residencies, training workshops and small creative experiences. In short, a place for creative retreats and of well-being, taking advantage of its natural richness, of the silence and of all the developed infrastructures: the lodgings, the School of Arts and Crafts, the ateliers, the Library, the Gallery, the community oven, the Café da Videira and the Taberna das Artes.

Every year in July, the village hosts the festival Elementos à Solta – Art meets Nature, which brings together contemporary creators from different areas and transforms the village into an open-air art gallery, with space for all kinds of artistic expression.

  • territory

    Cerdeira is one of the five Aldeias do Xisto in Lousã municipality, and like the others, is located in the deeply incised river basin of the Ribeira de São João, the main watercourse draining this flank of the mountains to the west of its highest point (Trevim, 1204 metres).

    The village is built on a nearly vertical slope, along which grey-brown schist houses appear to form a staircase. Between the houses, a single, steep alley takes us on a winding route to the top and the bottom of the village. Between steep slopes rent by watercourses tumbling down from above, Cerdeira nestles in the most bucolic of surroundings. The highest point of the mountains is just over a thousand metres away as the crow flies. But seen from the village it appears to touch the sky.

  • nature

    Cerdeira is included in the Lousã Mountain Site of Community Importance of the Natura 2000 Network. We often encounter deer even at the entrance to the village. On entering the village we pass over a wooden bridge crossing a small stream. However, from the valley at the bottom of the village rises the tumultuous sound of rushing water. Like part of a Christmas crib set on the south and west facing slope of the mountain, the village of Cerdeira spontaneously took on the appearance of an amphitheatre intersected by the meandering channel of a stream. This is the Ribeira da Cerdeira, which carries away the waters that pour down the higher western slopes of the Serra da Lousã.

    The movement of the water seems to give life to the village, establishing an intimate relationship with the watercourse along which several watermills and irrigation systems have been installed. Through here race the waters that fall on Trevim on their journey to join the Ribeira de São João, the river Arouce, the river Ceira and the river Mondego.

  • history and stories

    In general, the history of this village is similar to the histories of the other four Schist Villages in Lousã municipality.  Permanent settlement of the villages of the Lousã Mountain occurred in the second half of the 17th century or beginning of the 18th. Until then, occupation was only seasonal, in the spring and summer, with pastoralism practices. Indeed, the “Register of the population of the Kingdom (1527)” mentions none of these villages in its entry for Lousã.  The oldest documents that point to their occupation are a fine imposed by Lousã Council in 1679 and the register of tenant properties ordered by King Pedro II in 1687.

    At the beginning of the 19th century only Candal and Cerdeira escaped pillaging by the Napoleonic army. In 1885 the population of the seven villages (the five Schist Villages, plus Catarredor and Vaqueirinho) corresponded to 8.7% of the total population of the parish of Lousã (5340 inhabitants).

    It had six watermills and two flocks of sheep and goats totalling 800 head. The New State’s Forest Development Plan, dating from the beginning of the 1940s, led to the afforestation of areas of pasture and caused the decline of this and other villages.
    The censuses record that the largest number of inhabitants registered in 1940 was 79.

    Origin of the name
    Cerdeira or Sardeira in old Portuguese is the name of the tree which is more commonly known today as the cherry. It is assumed that the site of the village should show evidence of this species, because the place is conducive to the spontaneous growth of this tree.

    The end of the world
    Our world could end in a variety of ways. For the last three original inhabitants of Cerdeira, the end of the world occurred in the 1970s, following an argument over the sharing of a scarce resource: water. Augusto Constantino had the misfortune to make a threatening blow with a mattock, but it was enough to end life in the village. In 1992 the Portuguese film director João Mário Grilo adapted the story for the screenplay of his 64-minute film “The end of the world”, depicting the end of this cycle of the village’s history. The plot does not depict the truth of the events. In fact, Constantino was a man who was always respected in the village. And in 1983, after serving his sentence, he returned. His old world had gone. But he found a new, welcoming world, where he lived for nine years, teaching and sharing his knowledge with some of the current inhabitants. Justice to his memory.

    A people who sing
    At the beginning of the 1970s, Michel Giacometti and the Portuguese television producer Alfredo Tropa rambled for two years all over Portugal, making a memorable collection of Portuguese popular music. In Santo António da Neve, they collected musical events that happened during that pilgrimage. One of the popular performers was an inhabitant of the nearby village of Franco.

  • patrimony

    The village consists basically of a single steep lane linking the top of the village to the stream flowing in the valley. The buildings are arranged irregularly along it, with little nooks between them. The predominant building material is a dark schist and none of the facades is rendered.

    Following restoration, the buildings of Cerdeira guard the memories and architecture of other times. The traditional schist stone is used both in the houses and in the animal pens, and acquires particular reflections when the sun crosses the humid air of the mountains. Climbing up the slope, the houses were built facing the sun and the paths were carved into the rocky outcrops with no clear distinction between public and private, resulting in intimate environments like virtual engravings.

    Worth a visit:

    • Chapel of Nossa Srª de Fátima
    • Fountain
      Constructed in1938 by Lousã Municipal Council on the path leading to the village. Fed by spring water.
    • Wayside shrine
      In the form of a niche in the facade of a private house. Inside, a painted board is an ex-voto dedicated to Our Lord of the Afflicted, the text of which is still relevant today:
      MIRACLE THAT WAS DONE BY OUR LORD OF THE AFFLICTED
      TO THE VILLAGE OF CERDEIRA WHO DID NOT ALLOW IT
      TO DIE AND WHO ALWAYS PROTECTED
      THE SONS OF CERDEIRA THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
    • House of Arts and Crafts
      It was rebuilt under the aegis of the ECO-ARQ programme following eco-rehabilitation criteria: the use of local construction materials and techniques with low CO2 emissions (schist stone and clay mortar, chestnut wood and cork granule sheets for thermal insulation). It promotes creative and artistic tourism.
  • festivities
    • July or August: Feast of Our Lady of Fátima - Village festival
    • July: Meeting of mountain people (Santo António da Neve)
    • Second weekend in July: Elementos à solta - Art meets nature
  • products
    • Crafts by Kerstin Thomas/Cerdeira Studio
    • Planta do Xisto products (organic farming)
    • Heather honey
  • how to arrive

    De Norte e de Sul
    Seguir pela A1 até à saída n.º11 (Lousã/Condeixa). Seguir a N342 em direcção à Lousã. Chegando à Lousã, seguir pela N236 em direcção a Castanheira de Pera, até encontrar a placa indicativa da Aldeia.

  • Residents' name
    cerdeirenses
  • Patron saint
    nossa senhora de fátima
  • Ex-libris
    village entrance and outdoor art

explore

restaurants
Restaurante Pátio do Xisto
Restaurante Pátio do Xisto
Gondramaz, Miranda do Corvo
lodging
Cerdeira - Home for Creativity
Cerdeira - Home for Creativity
Lousã
lodging
Cerdeira - Home for Creativity - Residências
Cerdeira - Home for Creativity - Residências
Lousã
lodging
Casa das Bugalhas
Casa das Bugalhas
Candal
lodging
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Talasnal
lodging
Casa Princesa Peralta
Casa Princesa Peralta
Talasnal
lodging
Casa Lausus
Casa Lausus
Talasnal
lodging
Casa dos Amigos
Casa dos Amigos
Casal Novo
lodging
Palácio da Lousã Boutique Hotel ****
Palácio da Lousã Boutique Hotel ****
Lousã
lodging
Casa de Campo da Comareira
Casa de Campo da Comareira
Comareira
lodging
Casa da Cerejinha
Casa da Cerejinha
Góis
lodging
Casa do Neveiro
Casa do Neveiro
Góis
lodging
Casas de Campo Aldeia de Camelo
Casas de Campo Aldeia de Camelo
Aldeia do Camelo
lodging
Mountain Whisper
Mountain Whisper
Gondramaz
lodging
Pátio do Xisto
Pátio do Xisto
Gondramaz, Miranda do Corvo
lodging
Retiro do Gondramaz
Retiro do Gondramaz
Gondramaz
lodging
Quinta dos Esconhais
Quinta dos Esconhais
Castanheira de Pêra
associations
Arts and Crafts School
Arts and Crafts School
Cerdeira, Lousã
local products
Planta do Xisto
Planta do Xisto
Cerdeira
village
Candal
Candal
tour
"PR4 LSA - Lousã Schist Walking Trail  - Four Villages Route"
"PR4 LSA - Lousã Schist Walking Trail - Four Villages Route"
village
Talasnal
Talasnal
village
Chiqueiro
Chiqueiro
village
Casal Novo
Casal Novo
offer
Escapadinha de E-Bike nas Aldeias do Xisto
Escapadinha de E-Bike nas Aldeias do Xisto
tour
"PR3 LSA - Lousã Schist Walking Trail  - Levada Route"
"PR3 LSA - Lousã Schist Walking Trail - Levada Route"
heritage
Lousã Castle
Lousã Castle
tour
PR 2 LSA - Lousã Schist Trails 2 - Schist Villages Route
PR 2 LSA - Lousã Schist Trails 2 - Schist Villages Route
Casa Princesa Peralta
tour
"PR5 LSA - Lousã Schist Walking Trail  - Serranos Route"
"PR5 LSA - Lousã Schist Walking Trail - Serranos Route"
Casa Princesa Peralta
heritage
Santo António da Neve
Santo António da Neve
village
Aigra Velha
Aigra Velha
village
Aigra Nova
Aigra Nova
associations
Lousitânea - Serra da Lousã League of Friends
Lousitânea - Serra da Lousã League of Friends
Aigra Nova, Góis
tour
Lousã – Trevim Epic Climb
Lousã – Trevim Epic Climb
Casa Princesa Peralta
tour
PR 1 GOI - Schist Traditions Route
PR 1 GOI - Schist Traditions Route
tour
PR1 LSA - LOUSÃ SCHIST TRAILS - ROTA DOS MOINHOS
PR1 LSA - LOUSÃ SCHIST TRAILS - ROTA DOS MOINHOS
Casa Princesa Peralta
institutional
Câmara Municipal da Lousã
Câmara Municipal da Lousã
Lousã
associations
Activar - Association for Cooperation in Lousã
Activar - Association for Cooperation in Lousã
Lousã
associations
Montanha Club
Montanha Club
Lousã
associations
ARCIL - Associação para Recuperação de Cidadãos Inadaptados da Lousã
ARCIL - Associação para Recuperação de Cidadãos Inadaptados da Lousã
Lousã
institutional
Junta de Freguesia da Lousã e Vilarinho
Junta de Freguesia da Lousã e Vilarinho
Lousã
associations
Conselho Directivo dos Baldios da Lousã
Conselho Directivo dos Baldios da Lousã
Lousã
local products
Lousãmel
Lousãmel
Lousã
associations
GERL - Lousã Regional Heritage Group
GERL - Lousã Regional Heritage Group
Lousã
village
Comareira
Comareira
tour
"PR7 LSA - Lousã Schist Walking Trail  - Discovering the Forest"
"PR7 LSA - Lousã Schist Walking Trail - Discovering the Forest"
village
Pena
Pena
tour
Panoramic Road: Pena - Fajão
Panoramic Road: Pena - Fajão
tour
PR6 LSA - Caminhos do Xisto da Lousã - Rota dos Baldios
PR6 LSA - Caminhos do Xisto da Lousã - Rota dos Baldios
Casa Princesa Peralta
tour
PR 9 - Baile Trail
PR 9 - Baile Trail
village
Gondramaz
Gondramaz
institutional
Junta de Freguesia de Vila Nova
Junta de Freguesia de Vila Nova
tour
PR2 MCV - Gondramaz Schist trail - In the Miller’s Footsteps
PR2 MCV - Gondramaz Schist trail - In the Miller’s Footsteps
tour
PR1 MCV - Accessible Schist Walking Trail of Gondramaz
PR1 MCV - Accessible Schist Walking Trail of Gondramaz
tour
Castanheira-de-Pêra – Trevim Epic Climb
Castanheira-de-Pêra – Trevim Epic Climb
Casa Princesa Peralta
institutional
Câmara Municipal de Castanheira de Pera
Câmara Municipal de Castanheira de Pera
Castanheira de Pêra

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