Marialva is a few minutes from the town of Mêda. This village takes you to the deepest roots of the country's history in a scenario that reveals one of the living relics of Portuguese ancestry. The streets are lined with buildings that have stood the test of time and lead to the citadel surrounded by walls in whose ruins it is easy to lose track of time. Settled by the Aravi, a Lusitanian people, it was later conquered by the Romans, then the Arabs until the ﬁnal victory of King Fernando the Great in his historic conquest of the Beiras in 1063.
Our history your time
A Aldeia de Marialva dista 7 Km da sede do concelho da Mêda, na margem esquerda da ribeira de Marialva. É constituída por três núcleos distintos: a Cidadela ou Vila no interior do Castelo, agora despovoada; o Arrabalde que prolonga a Vila para além da zona amuralhada; e a Devesa, situada a sul da cidadela, que se estende pela planície até à ribeira de Marialva, e assenta sobre a antiga cidade romana.
De facto, as origens longínquas de Marialva parecem remontar ao tempo da antiga Cidade de Aravor, fundada pelos Túrdulos no séc. VI a.C. Este castro, situado numa eminência rochosa sobranceira aos campos da Devesa, foi o principal núcleo da comunidade dos Aravos, sendo conhecido por Castro dos Aravos.
Com a chegada dos Romanos o nome alterou-se para Civitas Aravorum, que foi reconstruida no tempo de Adriano e Trajano, tendo sido um importante ponto de confluência e cruzamento de vias, entre as quais a Via Imperial da Guarda a Numão. Os Godos instalaram-se também no monte, primeira ocupação cristã, mudando-lhe o nome para S. Justo. A esta ocupação seguiram-se os Árabes que terão dado à cidadela o nome de Malva, que reconquistada por D. Fernando Magno de Leão em 1063, lhe chamou Marialva.
Despovoada pelas lutas da Reconquista, D. Afonso Henriques mandou-a repovoar e concedeu-lhe o primeiro foral (1179). D. Sancho I reconquistou-a em 1200, altura em que o povoado extravasou a cerca amuralhada, formando-se assim o Arrabalde que apresenta uma malha urbana de traçado predominantemente medieval, onde proliferam igrejas, capelas, casas quinhentistas e senhoriais, a par de um conjunto de habitações rurais com características típicas da casa beirã. D. Dinis, que criou a Feira em 1286, e D. Manuel, que lhe concedeu Foral Novo (1512), procederam a obras no castelo, transformando Marialva numa das mais imponentes e fortes praças de guerra do reino.
Dada a localização fronteiriça de Marialva - e estimulada pela Feira (dia 15 de cada mês) que concedia diversos privilégios aos moradores e feirantes - iniciou-se no séc. XIII a fixação de judeus, cujo número aumentou durante o reinado de D. Manuel formando mesmo uma judiaria.
D. Afonso V deu o título de Conde de Marialva a D. Vasco Coutinho (1440), que se destacara nas campanhas militares do Norte de África; mais tarde passou a marquesado por mercê de D. Afonso VI (1675), tendo sido primeiro Marquês de Marialva D. António Luís de Menezes, terceiro Conde de Cantanhede, pelo seu papel decisivo na Revolução de 1640.
Em 1855 foi suprimido o concelho de Marialva, que passou a englobar o de Vila Nova de Foz Côa. Em 1872, Marialva foi incorporada no concelho de Mêda.
What to see
Former Town Council
This building is typical of the type of architecture used to built town halls and is located in Largo da Praça: It testifies to the administrative and judicial independence that Marialva enjoyed in the 16th and 17th centuries. It has two storeys with two rooms each and is an irregular rectangle in shape. The main façade displays a seal and the stairs to the second floor. It also bears a shield with Portugal’s coat of arms. It is thought to have been built in the 17th century and was used as a primary school in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Belfry of the old church of S. João
The existence of the old church of S. João, the main church of the medieval parish of the same name, is documented since the 13th century, at least. The dissolution of the parish, and consequently the aforesaid church, meant the only remaining material traces are to be found in the bell tower of that church, now a part of the wall, and a small group of tombs carved into the rock that mark the location of the medieval cemetery.
N. Sra. de Lourdes / S. João Baptista Chapel
It can be found among traces of the Old Knights Templar Monastery. This chapel is located outside the walls, near the Anjo da Guarda Gate and was probably built in the 17th century. Some hundred years later it was decorated with polychromatic and gilded carved wood features. A new ceiling put in later hides the beams and boards painted with plant motifs. There are some graves caved into the rock between the chapel and the walls.
Santa Bárbara Chapel
Small church of sober and simple architecture, it has a square floor plan, featuring a doorway with a semi-circular arch. The drainage system for the roof is located below the cornice line, using cannon gargoyles for water runoff. Apart from its cultural role, being rarely used nowadays, it is also an impressive lookout over Devesa (the lower part of the settlement) and the scenery to the south.
Senhor dos Passos Chapel
The mannerist-style chapel is located opposite the Parish Church. Its pulpit was used for sermons on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. It was probably built in the 17th century and was decorated with gilded and polychromatic wood carving in the following century. Its ceiling is ornamented with 36 paintings of saints and it has a King João-style carved altarpiece. The chapel was also the venue for charitable work by the Senhor dos Passos Sisters, who for 300 years tended the sick in their hospital, cared for widows and orphans and prayed for the souls of the departed. The chapel is being restored with the help of Aldeias Históricas de Portugal.
Chapel of Nª SRª da Guia
Religious architecture, with an open longitudinal floor plan, flat ceiling of wood, illuminated by the wickets on the main facade. It is a Mannerist construction, in which straight lines were used, both on the gables as well as on the door frames. It is a small and modest church, with an interior free of any great decoration, in contrast to the majority of the constructions of a religious nature in Marialva and the region.
Quinta da Bacelada
Casas do Côro
Casas do Côro are a small boutique hotel, villas and an Eco Friendly Concept SPA. The dedication that their founders Cármen and Paulo Romão have devoted to them have rapidly turned them into a reference for accommodation in Portugal. They are simply the perfect place for anyone wanting to get away from the bustle of the city and enjoy what this magic place has to offer: excellent cuisine and wines, matchless hospitality with the good old Beira welcome, lots of peace and quiet and the beauty of a region that is largely unknown!
What to do
TRY PORTUGAL – Adventure, Nature & Culture
TRY PORTUGAL promotes personalized programs and experiences of active and cultural tourism, exploring the Natural, Historical and Cultural heritage of the country. All programs in autonomy or with guides are created to guarantee experiences of gastronomy & wines, culture & traditions. We highlight the interior regions that are still unknown to most travelers, through thematic vacation programs, the provision of tourist services, and the organization of sports & cultural events. Services: Thematic tours, active tourism programs, guided tours, organization of cultural and sporting events. Our tours are designed to include one or more of the following activities that are available in the region: Walking & Hiking - Mountain & Road Cycling - Water trails activities - Air activities- Horseback Riding – Rock Climbing – Wellness & Yoga Retreats - Ecotourism - Geo-tourism - Cultural & Historical Tourism - Creative Residences - Impact Tourism & Volunteering COME TRY PORTUGAL!
Adventure and nature trips
We are a registered tour operating company and we base our activity on the values of legal compliance, nature protection and sustainability. We operate according to the Portuguese legislation and we hold a special accreditation from the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests allowing us to drive inside Nature Parks and other protected areas (where permitted)- We are members of the Natural.pt brand (www.natural.pt), reserved for companies who adhere to the programme. Following the recent pandemic we got our Clean & Safe seal from the Tourism Authority signifying our compliance with the official health requirements for the prevention and control of infections. Our trips are much more than just going from A to B and we distinguish ourselves for having a higher purpose: the knowledge and promotion of the historical, cultural and environmental heritage of Portugal, so that in the end our guests will have lots of stories to tell. In each new journey through some of the most beautiful and remotest places in mainland Portugal, we discover a unique, authentic and truly surprising country with a sense of adventure and discovery that enriches us as human beings. Our offer is based on a personalised service with tailor-made trips meeting the personal interests of our guests. We are constantly exploring and spending countless days on the ground in contact with the local people and organisations in search for the best places of interest and the best routes. As a result of this research, we have acquired a deep knowledge of the whole country which allows us to give our guests a renewed level of novelty and differentiation in each event. During our events we privilege the contact with nature in a legal and responsible manner, with the aim to reduce the impact of our passage, by working with official entities and other environmental organisations. Every year we plant many autoctonous trees in an effort to make Dream Overland a carbon-neutral company, an action that our customers can support and partake in. With our trips we contribute to the social cohesion and economic sustainability of local communities, through the knowledge and promotion of their traditions, handicrafts, produce and local heritage.
Beltour – Turismo e Eventos
Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking
Powered since 2006 by your passion for travel, Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking was created to offer you authentic experiences and unforgettable memories in the most exclusive places in Portugal, taking you to the most historic places and wild landscapes. The perfect example of this is our holidays in the Historical Villages. Each one more surprising than the one before, prepare to cross mesmerizing landscapes, going through some of the most impressive Portuguese natural regions like the Côa Valley, with their cave paintings, the Estrela Mountain Range, with the highest peak in continental Portugal, or Faia Brava, the first private conservation area in Portugal. And at the end of each day, explore another village, each with a different story to discover, between castles and walls, between taverns and gourmet restaurants, between centuries-old traditions and the latest inspirations. Dare yourself to wear the shoes of the great conquerors who fought for the oldest European border while restoring your body and mind with pure air and breathtaking views.