Viseu

Located in a mountain range lies the central Portugal city of Viseu.  This town is home to 47,000 residents in the city proper, but a municipal population of just under one hundred thousand.  Viseu’s greater metropolitan population contains over 350,000 residents, making the city one of the largest in Portugal’s interior.

Viseu’s location has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and continues to be a leader in Portuguese culture and arts.  Many historic buildings are well maintained and ready to impress all visitors.  For a break from the sightseeing, be sure to check out a local vineyard, as Viseu is home to a thriving wine making industry.  Among Viseu’s most visited attractions include:

Viseu Cathedral:  With construction starting in the 12th century, the Viseu Cathedral has expanded over the centuries, with many newer improvements made.  These upgrades and expansions led the cathedral to have many styles of architecture, which complement the exterior.  The cathedral has influences from the Manueline, Mannerist, and Renaissance eras.

Grao Vasco Museum:  Located next door to the Cathedral, housed in what was the church’s former Bishop’s Palace, is the museum named after the famous Portuguese Renaissance painter whose workshop was located in Viseu.  The painter, born Vasco Fernandes, with apprentice Gaspar Vaz, created paintings and altarpieces for churches throughout the region.  The artistic look of the altarpieces makes this museum one of Portugal’s most significant.

Museum of Sacred Art:  Also housed in another chapter house is this museum.  Among the artefacts are a 15th century box, which holds communion wafers, gold and silver chalices from the 17th century, and a statue of Queen Santa Isabel, which is created in the 16th century.

Viseu has a typical Mediterranean climate, thanks to the location in a valley between high mountains.  Summers are warm and dry, with winters cool and wet.  High temperatures reach a nice 25 degrees Celsius in July and 13 degrees in January.  Low temperatures range from 15 degrees in the summer to a cool five in January.

The Viseu is Francisco de Sa Carneiro Airport is the closest airport to the city. In order to travel to and around Viseu, consider car hire at Porto Airport.

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