Some historians attribute the foundation of this city, located between the Minho and Trás-os-Montes, to a Roman centurion by the name of Amarantus. In the 13th century, a Benedictine monk called Gonçalo settled in Amarante after having made pilgrimages to Italy and Jerusalem; he later becomes his patron saint. The construction of a massive bridge, at the site where the current bridge is located, is attributed to him. This bridge also perpetuates the memory of the heroic resistance of the local population against the Napoleonic forces, which, at the beginning of the 19th century, invaded Portugal. The city, important crossing point towards the region of Trás-os-Montes, was then besieged by the army of Marshal Soult, who met with formidable opposition from the inhabitants of Amarante, and which must take 14 days to take, throwing barrels of powder on the city. Amarante is finally the birthplace of Augusta Bessa-Luis, famous Portuguese writer, who won in 2004 the most important literary prize for the Portuguese language, the Camões prize.
Do not forget to taste the famous pastries of Amarante, in the suggestive form. Remember some names: ‘papos de anjo’, ‘brisas do Tâmega’, ‘toucinho do céu’, ‘bolos de São Gonçalo’, ‘galhofas’. This pastry, it would also have been imported by the monk São Gonçalo.
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