Monsanto: Portuguese Village

Monsanto was voted in 1938 the “most Portuguese village in Portugal” nestles on the slope of a steep hill (the Monsanto head, known in Latin as Mons Sanctus), which rises abruptly above the prairy and reaches a height of 758 meters (2486 feet).

The most typical aspect of Monsanto is the fact that the village developed around impressively big and miraculously balanced granitic boulders.

One of the most symbolic traditions of Monsanto is the Festival of the Holy Cross, held on the 3rd of May, to commemorate the resistance to a long history of sieges: the women carry to the top of the castle typical rag-dolls (known as “marafonas”) and clay jars full of flowers are thrown from the walls.

The City of Thousand Balconies

From my parent’s homeland, the Portuguese city Portu spread on some huge hills. What you do is going up and down, up and down. And your eye always catches someone’s balcony. Portugal doesn’t exist without balconies. They are not just part of a room, they are an important attribute of Portugal life. And life on a Portugal balcony is boiling! Here’s an elderly lady hanging linen, here’s a man slowly smoking out rings, in the morning people drink coffee on balconies, in the evening they stare at passers-by… A bachelor yawns after waking up, a dog waits for an owner from work…

Absolutely anything and more – tables and chairs, pink basins, flowers and plates. As you have already understood the post will be devoted to balconies, so meaningful in Portugal!

By the way, tile is not only for decoration, in hot weather it plays the role of an air conditioner.

The rooms must be really narrow in this houses!