Strolling through the narrow streets, on which the houses rush, enjoy the rural buildings, with small windows and solid granite walls. The ground floor is generally used for storing agricultural implements and for livestock. Some dwellings keep the floor rough in wood, nailed directly to beams of the same material, where through the fringes the transfer of the heat from the animals to the upper floor was facilitated.
Search for a sunny spot and enjoy the silence, only interrupted by the village’s agricultural activities and the barking of some dog in the distance.
Every year, in Alturas do Barroso, the celebrations are held in Honor of St. Sebastião. Legend has it that the party is the result of a promise that the inhabitants made many, many years ago. Frightened by the great death of cattle, they asked St. Sebastião to protect them from hunger and pestilence. Formerly, on the day of the feast bread and wine were offered in the streets, and feijoada is now also offered.
The party is organized by 4 or 5 butlers, rotating among the inhabitants. Preparations begin several days before, through the collection of donations. At dawn on January 20, the feijoada and rice are started, in a fireplace built for this purpose in the headquarters of the Parish Council. At the morning mass the procession follows. The andor of St. Sebastião strolls through the streets of the village to the table where the banquet is arranged. The priest bless the food, especially the bread, and only then does the meal begin. The blessing is distributed among the faithful who consume it and give it to the animals, so that they may be free from disease.
At 19.3 km (30 minutes by car) from Boticas county seat, route R311 (direction Salto) and M520.
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Source: Associação de Municípios do Alto Tâmega 2007, Atlas/ Guia das Rotas do Alto Tâmega, Chaves. / Photography: TR