"Terras de Cervaria" (Land of the Stags)
Vila Nova de Cerveira is located on the portuguese side of the Minho river. The historical center comprises the castle, old churches and old buildings which deserve a close look.
The name of the village it's explained by a legend.
Once upon a time... there was a stag (deer) that was chosen by the Gods of Olympo to become a King. And so the stag decided to move, together with other stags, to this uninhabitated territory that then began to be known as "Terras de Cervaria" (Land of the Stags). Many years flew past. Fights, skirmishes and disasters gradually devastated the colony until only the King Stag was left. According to the legend, when the noblemen from Asturias came down during the Reconquest to conquer what was to become the Condado Portucalense, a young noblemen challenged the King Stag to a face-to-face duel. And the old Lord accepted. The duel took place among trees and weeds in a trenched site. And, so the story tells, the King Stag swept to victory! He kept the nobleman's flag that became the King's coat of arms. But the Gods deceived the old King. He wouldn't be immortal... Tired of living and ill, the old Lord died in the loneliness of the crags and with him disappeared for good the Terra da Cervaria.
But the story wasn't forgotten and the Vila Nova de Cerveira coat-of-arms still bears a golden passant stag in silver armour standing in a green field.