Nested on a picturesque mountainside in rural Portugal is a charming village which adapted to their landscape by building among huge sizable boulders.
The tiny village of Monsanto in the Portuguese countryside built their town to be intertwined with the landscape. It is located in Portugal’s Beira Baixa countryside, just 25 km from the Spanish border.
Built in the 12th century, Monsanto has been built between, on, around boulders of varying sizes. They form part of the walls, floors and in some cases the roofs of the medieval stone cottages. Featuring narrow streets carved from rock and granite houses squeezed between giant boulders. Some of the boulders are actually fitted with doors, leading to structures carved right into the rocky landscape.
Monsanto is crowned by the remains of a Templar castle, which in the 19th century, was partially destroyed by an explosion. Next to the castle are the ruins of a Roman chapel, with five stone tombs carved into the rock. The castle had a significant role in Medieval times when the Templars Grand Master built a castle which withstood several battles including the Napoleonic invasions.
In 1938, the village of Monsanto was bestowed the most “Portuguese town in Portugal” with its rich culture and fascinating architecture representative to the classic Portuguese style.