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Vidago

It is one of the most beautiful Portuguese villages and is famous for its thermal waters and for having the last of the palaces of Portugal. We are talking about Vidago, in Chaves.

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Vidago
Vidago

Vidago is located to fifteen kilometers of Chaves, soothes of the county to which it belongs. It is in the southern zone of the circumscription, being crossed by the national highway nº2. The village is located at the bottom of a tight valley where the river Avelames and the Ribeira de Oura, on whose banks are planted vines. Around are the hills of Alvão and Padrela.

There are those who say that Vidago was a spa resort in the time of the Romans, that they would heal there and drink as much as they washed their bodies in the holy waters, to heal their evils. It is known that its settlement is much earlier than the twelfth century, although at that time it was a village no more important than the surrounding ones.

It is natural that the site was already populated in pre-Roman times, as can be deduced from local archeology, topography and local toponymy, as not only its geographic location made it suitable for strategic defense but also the wealth of the region in mineral waters would not be wasted by the Romans, who always used the hot springs, where they were.

This tiny village, which was like a place belonging to the parish of Arcosso, passed unnoticed in continental geography. In 1863, Manuel de Sousa, a farmer from this locality and native of the lively village of Vidago, coming from one of his estates, passing through Souto, land belonging to João das Fragas and Aurelia Rita, called “Palheiros”, a small puddle to drink water, which was not even used to irrigate, since its spring is insufficient, being lost in the plowed land.

Vidago
Vidago

Manuel de Sousa, whether by the thirst he led, or by the fate that celebrates him as a water finder, he drank from it and found it spicy, soon finding a good disposition in his stomach, from which he suffered from discomfort. Since he had found such relief, he continued to drink from the same water, and later transmitted the find to his relative, D. Júlia Vaz de Araújo, who took them to Dr. Domingos Vieira Ribeiro, who had the his residence in Chaves.

In the same year of its discovery were taken for analysis twelve bottles of mineral water, some specimens of rock, earth and waste, for the Laboratory of the Polytechnic School.

As soon as the waters were discovered, and when the respective analyzes were carried out in the chemical laboratories of Lisbon and Porto, Dr. António Vítor de Carvalho e Sousa, from the village of Vila do Conde, looked with admiration at the spring from which the water which it diminished his gout condition that so tormented him.

Then Dr. Carvalho and Sousa, marveling at such a good result of this finding, ordered that he make at his expense the source that first had the honor to appear at the emergency site.

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