While wandering around the Serra do Açor hills, we are not only charmed by the majesty and purity of the landscape, but we are also overcome with curiosity and impatience. Piódão stubbornly remains hidden so that it can then astound us with its architecture, which is such a good example of Man’s ability to adapt harmoniously to the most inhospitable but sublime places. Like a crib, the houses stand along the terraces of the slopes, which show blue and schist between narrow winding streets. At each corner they hide the history of the village of Piódão.
Our history your time
O Piódão, aldeia classificada como "Imóvel de Interesse Público", localiza-se na Serra do Açôr, com uma implantação de escarpa abrupta e uma estrutura de malha cerrada e traçado sinuoso, bem adaptada à rugosidade do espaço envolvente. As pastagens da Serra de S. Pedro do Açor, recheada de nascentes, atraíram os pastores lusitanos que ali alimentaram os seus rebanhos. Na época medieval, formou-se um pequeno povoado a que foi dado o nome de Casas Piódam, depois transferido para a atual localização, talvez devido à instalação de um Mosteiro de Cister (de que já não restam vestígios) o que fará remontar o lugar ao séc. XIII. A este mosteiro poderá estar ligada a antiga invocação de Santa Maria (comum nas Abadias Cistercienses) da Igreja Matriz templo reformulado no séc. XVIII/XIX, o que o dotou duma curiosa fachada pautada por finas torres cilíndricas rematadas por cones.
No interior, uma imagem da Senhora da Conceição do séc. XV, atual invocação da igreja, altares de talha e azulejaria de fabrico coimbrão. De referir também a Capela de S. Pedro com a sua imagem do séc. XVI. Conta-se que aqui se teria fixado um dos assassinos de Inês de Castro - Diogo Lopes Pacheco, apelidos ainda hoje existentes no Piódão: os Lopes e os Pachecos, estes últimos tinham direito a tribuna própria na Igreja de Lourosa. No Numeramento Joanino de 1527, o primeiro recenseamento populacional nacional, Piódão aparece inserido na vila de Avô, como "casall do piodão" com dois moradores. Mais tarde integra a Freguesia de Aldeia das Dez, da qual é desanexado em 1676. Em 24 de Outubro de 1855, passa a fazer parte do Concelho de Arganil, quando o concelho de Avô é extinto. No entanto, no que respeita à jurisdição religiosa mantém-se ligado ao arciprestado de Avô.
Nos finais do séc. XIX, o Cónego Manuel Fernandes Nogueira funda um Colégio no Piódão, a que muitos chamam Seminário, que funcionou entre 1886 e 1906, e que aqui juntou muitos jovens, criando um pólo cultural de grande importância para a zona. A aldeia do Piódão é característica pela sua disposição em anfiteatro, o chamado presépio de xisto, com as casas de grande consistência formal, arquitetónica e estética. O casario, em alvenaria de pedra de xisto, tem cobertura de lajes no mesmo material. As janelas, de pequena modulação têm, tal como as portas, cor nos aros, e, pela Páscoa, cruzes feitas com o Ramo de loureiro benzido são postas nas vergas das portas para afastar o mau-olhado. Pelas suas ruelas íngremes, estreitas e tortuosas que formam recantos numa estrutura de malha cerrada e em grande parte preservada, corre aqui e ali um fio de água numa canada irregular: a Levada. De realçar a singela Fonte dos Algares. As atividades agrícolas e pastorícia continuam agora, como no passado, a ser dominantes no modo de vida dos habitantes do Piódão, encaradas essencialmente como forma de subsistência e sobrevivência. De notar a Eira, donde se desfruta uma bela panorâmica, e o Forno do Pão.
What to see
Busto do Cónego Manuel Fernandes Nogueira
São Pedro Chapel
There is a community threshing floor at the top of the village. In small, isolated villages like Fajão it is essential for the community to work together. This means not only in terms of equipment like the oven and threshing floor for use by all villagers but also their occupations such as farming, shepherding and gathering wild fruits. Working as a community brings all the members together and also leads to higher production and wellbeing. 17th/18th and 20th century A simple place of worship located inside the village. It contains a 16th century image of St. Peter.
The exterior: There is a community threshing floor at the top of the village. In small, isolated villages, the inhabitants worked as a community, as a way of using infrastructure (irrigation systems, oven, threshing floor) or places (common land). This was essential to their survival. This area was used to dry and thresh grain (e.g. rye) and legumes (e.g. beans). We can see carvings on the stones, such as dents and drawings, many of them representing individual or pairs of soles of feet. We can presume that they were connected to good luck charms for crops or preservation of products.
This simple church was built in the second half of the 18th century. In the late 19th century its façade was in danger of collapsing. To reach the church you have to climb wide schist steps. It has two juxtaposed parts and a vestry. It is dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception and has been restored and extended several times. The work done in 1898-1900 resulted in the current façade with four strong cylindrical buttresses that rise above the nave and are topped by cone. This work also involved construction of the bell tower and choir loft. The church’s chancel was extended and was fitted with four cylindrical columns with buttresses in each corner. The alterations were mentored by Canon Manuel Nogueira. Inside the high altar there is a renaissance-style carved altarpiece in gilded wood with image of Our Lady of the Conception, St Michael and St Sebastian. Other heritage items in the church: A 16th century limestone image of Our Lady of the Conception in a niche at the front watches over the square and blesses passers-by.
Where to eat
It has been open since 1989, but was recently remodelled in 2012. This restaurant serves traditional regional food, such as goat stew in a wood oven, pork sausage, grilled trout, among others. We also accept orders for roast kid. Restaurante Fontinha is inside the village (near the fountain), making it the perfect rustic spirit. The building is made of traditional schist on the outside and inside, making it exceptionally beautiful.
Casa da Padaria
Inspired by local architecture, Casa da Padaria is located in the historical village do Piódão in Serra do Açor. Many call it the nativity village because of the layout of the houses on the hillside. It´s most seductive feature is the landscape and its welcoming atmosphere. The restoration of the old bakery was completed in 1998 and artisanal construction methods and natural regional materials were used, such as wood and schist to cover and insulate the house.
Casa de Xisto
This rural house made of schist is in the centre of the historical village of Piódão. It has been recently restored. The outer walls and roof are in local schist. It sits among the village houses, mostly made of schist and restored in accordance with their classification of buildings of public interest. The house is rented exclusively and the rate depends on the number of guests and nights.
Hotel Inatel Piódão
This hotel is built in schist and is located in the beautiful, isolated historical village of Piódão. If you’re looking for adventure this hotel is a good starting point for exploring the mountains. It has 27 fully equipped rooms, bar, restaurant, heated swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, gym, games room, meeting room and wi-fi. Private parking
What to do
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