Viana do Castelo
Considered one of the most beautiful cities of Portugal, Viana do Castelo is located in Minho province, the north-western most region of Portugal that borders Spain’s Galicia region. The proximity to the Lima river, as well as it’s breathtaking views makes Viana do Castelo a must stop in any visit to the north of Portugal. Viana is famous for its architecture with its monuments in and around the city. It is also famous for its surrounding natural beauty which is a characteristic of the Minho province.
The Pilgrimage of Nossa Senhora da Agonia is considered the biggest romaria (pilgrimage) festivities in Portugal lasting 5 days to coincide with August 20th, a regional holiday in celebration of Our Lady of Agony (Nossa Senhora da Agonia).
The city is the capital of a municipality with 314,36 km² and has some 36.750 inhabitants. The municipality borders the municipality of Caminha in the north, the municipality of Ponte de Lima in the east, the municipalities of Barcelos ans Esposende in the south and the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The city’s origins date back to before the Christian era, as it can be seen in the hill fort near the Basilica of Santa Luzia. It received its first foral from King Afonso III of Portugal in 1258, as well as the name Viana da Foz do Lima, because of its geografical location; in 1848 it became a city by a decree of Maria II of Portugal, and received the name of Viana do Castelo.