Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral was an outstanding personality in Portugal’s history – it was him who commanded the ships who discovered the maritime route to Brazil in 1500. Pedro Álvares Cabral and his family lived in Belmonte. Apart from this notorious member, the Cabral family also had a prominent role in this village’s history, therefore all through the village we came across references to the family, such as the castle, the palace, the house, the warehouses and the chapel.
The Tourism Office is situated on the palace in the castle. The staff is very friendly and will provide you a free map of Belmonte was well as a leaflet with some data about the buildings. The Tourism Office is opened every from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 5.30pm.
Guitar festival in spring
On the day we visited Belmonte last spring, we didn't realise how perfect our timing was.
As we entered the small chapel near the castle, we had just behind us small kids, young people, and parents, everybody in a bustle. We realised that there was going to be a guitar recital for several classes in the district, ranging from small kids to adults. So as we were going about the beautiful little chapel museum, we saw and heard kids practicing their recital pieces in every place they could manage to squeeze in, just before the event began. We stayed on for the recital proper which was on the chapel, with about half a dozen young children playing.
Then we went out and decided to visit the castle. To our pleasant surprise, the crowd now had grown larger, and there were much more people, and adults with their guitars were also climbing up to the castle. We realised that the idea was to hold the recital in the most important of Belmonte's historical places, and to do them in sections. So then, we had a wonderful time while looking around the castle, as in the meantime the guitar players were making such a melodious and romantic background music. Then we decided to head to the Jewish museum, not knowing it was the next location for the next stage of the recital.
So we were following in their footsteps, or the other way around! Whichever it was it made for a truly nice and memorable afternoon!
Friendly and welcoming locals
We made some contacts with some locals and found out that most of them were very nice and helpful. Our funniest contacts were when we tried to get some recommendation for a restaurant to have lunch, and noticed that most people we asked about a nice restaurant were quite evasive and ended up saying that “some people say that … “ as they themselves always ate at their homes. So, as “some people say that … “ the firemen’s restaurant was nice, we decided to give it a try – it was well worth the visit: we had a tasty and cheap lunch, although the restaurant itself was cold and humid, but food made us forget that.
Against the wall...
I don't know why I like this picture, but I like it :)) and I don't know what to say but on this day it was very cold and I was starting to get ill...
Unfortunately we didn't visit the castle, in Belmonte we only stayed at the Inn.