Castelo da Contenda Medieval Road

TVAP / Ancient Roads Route

With the medieval territorial restructuring, a new regional transport network system was established and the connection between Chaves and the Minho region was no longer operated through the ancient trajectory via the Montalegre region. Instead, the connection included southern circuits via Alturas do Barroso-Ruivães and Salto-Rossas; this change is likely related with problems in the appropriation of the land crossed by the old road on behalf of the Portuguese crown, as the later construction of the Montalegre castle, already in the fourteenth century, seems to suggest.

In the initial part of the Terva river basin, other than the absent stone bridge that ensured the river crossing between Sapelos and Sapiãos in the trajectory heading south through the Carvalhelhos bridge, only an important circuit from the medieval period is preserved. It still exhibits slabs on the pavement.

This is the Arcos-Bobadela circuit, referenced in the Inquirições de Afonso III, a document from 1258. It connected Cervos and Arcos (in Montalegre) to Bobadela and Sapiãos (in Boticas). At its mid-point, this trajectory equally served the medieval castle of Fragas da Contenda and documented the first attempts to organize the territory in the County of Portugal period.

Source: Unidade de Arqueologia da Universidade do Minho 2014, Rotas do Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Terva, Câmara Municipal de Boticas, Boticas.