PONTE DA BARCA TOURISM GUIDE
A pretty riverside town
The pretty riverside town of Ponte da Barca derives its name from a fine
arched bridge built in 1543 that crosses the Lima River.
There is an old belief that an expectant mother should ask the first person who crosses the bridge after midnight to baptize her belly with water from the river in order to safeguard her unborn child.
East of the bridge is the old town center with noble mansions from the 16th and 17th centuries, and on the main square stands the lovely 15th century Parish Church. It is worth a visit along with the huge market held every Tuesday and the parks along the river.
The town is a possible starting point for a tour of the nearby Peneda-Gerês National Park or to visit BRAVÃES, a small town 4km (2.5 miles) to the east. It is the site of one of the country's finest Romanesque churches, with a plain façade offset by outstanding doorways swathed in remarkable carvings and an interior with frescoes of St. Sebastian and the Virgin.
Buses stopping near the bridge connect the town to nearby Ponte de Lima and the cities of Braga and Viana do Castelo.
de Lima - Manor houses; a mythical festival
Gerês National Park - Early human vestiges within a magnificent national park
Viana Do Castelo - Elegant architecture; folklore
Braga - The city of Baroque; the Portuguese Episcopal capital; a monumental staircase
Guimarães - A medieval World Heritage center; a fascinating Celtic archeological site
Barcelos - One of Europe's largest markets; birthplace of a national symbol
AND TAGUS VALLEY
Castelo de Vide
Vila Real de Santo António
BEIRAS (CENTRAL PORTUGAL)
Figueira da Foz
Serra da Estrela
PORTO AND DOURO
Gerês National Park
Ponte de Lima
Ponte da Barca
Viana do Castelo