Percurso da Serra Amarela

NAME OF INTEREST - Vilarinho da Furna village

CONCEPT - Cultural Heritage

The old village of Vilarinho da Furna, today granitic ruins covered by the waters of the reservoir, belonged to the parish of São João do Campo. Its remotest origins still remain shrouded in mystery, but its way of organising its affairs and way of life are well known aspects of the village. The organisation of the village corresponded to the common structure of these mountains, with houses of granite, mostly with two floors, the ground floor to accommodate animals and agricultural implements, and the upper for human habitation, spread along narrow labrynthian streets. Surrounding the village were the cultivated fields. What distinguished this village from many others was the strong communal spirit. Notwithstanding compliance with the laws of Portugal of the time, the villagers had their own internal laws, guaranteed by a council elected every six months, whose highest role was carried out by the ‘Zelador’, who was also Judge with great power, always nominated from amongst the married men. He was assisted by six council members, men and women, heads of families. All decisions were taken on the basis of majority vote, the Zelador having the casting vote. The village lived this way until the dam was completed in 1972. Today it is a ‘drowned’ village but not a dead one. The spirit of Vilarinho da Furna continues to live on and its memory is materialised in the Ethnographic Museum, built with stones from the old village. Be sure to visit it!