VILLAGES

Pena

lousã mountain
Lousã MountainPena
Pena
pena, góis
Infatuated with the boulders. Nestling in the shadow of the Penedos de Góis on the left bank of the Ribeira de Pena, Pena appears to challenge the imposing escarpment on the opposite bank.

This village is the perfect result of construction in a combination of schist and quartzite. A centuries-old chestnut guards the entrance to the village.

The local topography dictated that the village developed along a promontory, making it seem that the houses are defying the laws of equilibrium and the force of gravity.

The village of Pena takes full advantage of the crystal clear waters of the stream. Alongside it, the Penedos de Góis offer adventure for the daring.

  • territory

    Located on the northern flank of the Lousã Mountain near the Penedos de Góis, perched high above the valley excavated by the Ribeira da Pena, it lies a bare 5km from the EN2 and 12 km from Góis. The village is built on the left bank of the Ribeira da Pena, on a quartzite spur, seeming to challenge the imposing escarpment that rises on the opposite bank.  The local topography dictated that the village developed along this promontory, making it seem that the houses are defying the laws of equilibrium and the force of gravity.

  • nature

    Pena is included in the Lousã Mountain Site of Community Importance of the Natura 2000 Network. A monumental chestnut tree greets us by the bridge over the Ribeira da Pena, on the banks of which the Portuguese laurel cherry abounds upstream and downstream.

    The Ribeira de Pena rises and is nurtured in this deep valley to the west of the Penedos de Góis. Here, near Pena, it runs between steep banks, now hurrying over successive waterfalls, now resting a while in a natural pool – the Poço Escuro de Cima and Poço Escuro de Baixo - before continuing to Pisão. It then goes on to meet the Ceira.

    The very rich natural heritage surrounding these villages includes in particular the Penedos de Góis, the region’s iconic feature, and Oitava Forest Park, the habitat of endangered birds and mammals such as red deer and roe deer, which are rarely found elsewhere in Portugal.

  • history and stories

    The village dates back at least to the 16th century, as in the “Register of the population of the Kingdom (1527)” the entry for the villa de Goys records the existence of what was then called pena where there lived five residents.

    The first forms of settlement that are known of in Góis municipality date from the Neolithic or Bronze I period, as proved by the many archaeological remains and finds found to the north of this area. The origin of these villages dates from the Iron Age with the founding of small settlements on the slopes and tops of hills, some of them subsequently abandoned during the Middle Ages.

    To overcome the difficulty of crossing the region, it is said that there was probably a “Roman” or “medieval” road whose course would have passed through Aigra Velha and Pena, forming part of the trade route that extended from Lisbon to the north of the country.

    Origin of the name
    Pena is a placename that has its Latin origin in penna, a variant of pinna, meaning a rock, that is, a crag or cliff, typical of the area surrounding the village, which is situated next to the quartzite ridge of the Penedos de Góis. Among the many sturdy rocky outcrops is the Penedo da Abelha overlooking the village on the right bank of the Ribeira de Pena. It could also mean the site of a small castle or small defensive structure (interpretation by VITERBO, 1798). Given the absence of any remains, this is probably not the case.

  • patrimony

    A single street and several small lanes make up the layout of Pena. The predominant building materials are schist and quartzite. Some facades are rendered and painted in traditional colours. The occasional house built in the second half of the 20th century does not disrupt the village’s architectural harmony.

    All the houses built from schist blocks are constructed so as to ensure they are resistant to weather and the passage of time. Arranged in small groups, they have two floors: the upper, or first, floor and the ground floor, which would normally house the livestock. However, there are exceptions to this rule and several groups of animal pens were built on the outskirts of each village. In each case one or more of these buildings belonged to the respective house in the community, according to the owner’s property and wealth in head of cattle. The second floor also acted as a storage area where cereals, earthenware jars filled with olive oil, salting boxes for pork and farming implements would be stored. They sometimes even had a small wine cellar with barrels and vats for making wine.

    Worth a visit:

    • Wayside shrine
      This is the only religious feature. It stands at the top of the village.
    • Watermill
      Located below the village on the left bank of the Ribeira da Pena (private).
    • Still
      Located in the street that crosses the village (private)
    • Irrigation channel
      An extensive irrigation channel runs alongside the left bank of the Ribeira da Pena.
    • Drinking fountain
      In the centre of the village and the object of much affection by the villagers.
  • products
    • Horticultural products
    • Chestnuts
  • how to arrive

    De Norte e de Sul
    Na A1 sair em Coimbra. Tome a N17 e saia na N342 no sentido da Lousã. Continue em direcção a Góis até encontrar as placas indicativas (à direita) das quatro Aldeias do Xisto.

    De Espanha (pela A25)
    Na A23 sair em direcção a Fundão-Sul. No Fundão seguir pela N238 em direcção a Silavres. Siga em frente até ao Orvalho. Aí tome a direcção de Pampilhosa da Serra. Apanhe a N2 no sentido de Góis. Continue pela N342 até encontrar (à esquerda) as placas indicativas das quatro Aldeias do Xisto.

  • Patron saint
    santa rita
  • Ex-libris
    rua estreita (narrow street)

explore

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lodging
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Casa Princesa Peralta
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offer
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tour
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heritage
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tour
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tour
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village
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associations
Montanha Club
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associations
ARCIL - Associação para Recuperação de Cidadãos Inadaptados da Lousã
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Lousã
institutional
Junta de Freguesia da Lousã e Vilarinho
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Lousã
associations
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Lousã
local products
Lousãmel
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tour
PR1 LSA - LOUSÃ SCHIST TRAILS - ROTA DOS MOINHOS
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institutional
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