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 Hiking & Cycling
TRY PORTUGAL is a specialised tour operator which mission is to promote the less explored and known interior regions of the Historical Villages of Portugal through active, cultural and sport tourism exploring to the maximum the Natural & Cultural Heritage of the region. All our Guided & Self-guided tours are designed so as to allow the maximum of experiences of the region’s gastronomy & wines, local habits, way of life, arts & crafts, curiosities and traditions to those who come visit. We specialized in developing partnerships, connecting local communities, services, activities and Best Stays accommodations to thus design short-breaks, 7+ days tours or your CUSTOM-MADE program. 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 - Adapted Tourism. Website: http://www.tryportugal.pt Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tryportugal/
Beltour – Turismo e Eventos
Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking
Powered by your passion for travel, Portugal A2Z | Walking & Biking Tours was born to offer you authentic experiences in the most exclusive places in Portugal taking you to the most historic and wild landscapes in the country. With more than 10 years’ experience, we know what it takes to create the perfect adventure holiday in Portugal that you won’t soon forget. We are committed to ensuring our clients’ complete satisfaction, meeting all your needs and dedicating all the necessary time to help and support you along your journey. As walking and biking experts, we offer a variety of tours to make sure you explore the best of Portugal exactly as you wish. From fully-supported guided trips to independent self-guided adventures, we make sure that, however you choose to travel with us, you’re getting the highest level of service and access to the most beautiful parts of Portugal. Portugal is a treasure chest of deep valleys, enchanting mountain ranges, charming villages and unique traditions – and we know the best way to explore them all is at your very own pace through the backroads of the country’s most stunning landscapes. To do that, we use our extensive expertise to design completely custom-made road cycling, walking and mountain biking tours that fit perfectly into your needs and preferences. Discovering Portugal with us means you will travel in a small group (6-12 people), allowing you to stay in unique and special places away from the tourist crowds. It means getting a first-class service with our dedicated guides. And it means having the time to interact with locals, immerse yourself in Portuguese culture and enjoy the best of your favourite activity, whether that’s walking or biking, in a breath-taking scenery. Today, we offer a wealth of guided and self-guided tours on our website – all of which are fully customizable according to your preferences and needs. Whatever you choose to explore in Portugal, when you travel with us you know we will only take you to the places we like to go.