Stage 15 Felgueiras - Guimarães
Guimarães: the most well-kept secret of Minho
The urban horizons of Felgueiras give way to the bucolic valley of the Vizela River and the lands of the once mighty Monastery of Pombeiro, which has welcomed pilgrims since at least the 12th century. The old road continues to Ponte do Arco de Pombeiro, a medieval road structure preceded by cobblestones made irregular by the passage of men and loads over the centuries.
On the other side of the river, the climb is steep up to the Church of St. Christopher of Abação. Two highways cross in the demanding walk and, when arriving to the church, it's time to rest, at a place high above the Vizela River, which is almost no longer visible in the middle of the vast horizon before our eyes. We must continue through São Tomé de Abação and climb a little further up to Penedos Altos, a hill that used to be inhospitable and populated by large boulders, now apparently tamed by residential human progress.
We quickly get to Guimarães, through the old Fonte Santa road, where St. Walter established the first Franciscan hermitage. Cross Av. D. João IV and head towards the Couros area. Even today this is where the toponym Largo da Cidade is found. We still have to go up to the Convent of St. Francis and to the Tourel garden. You are in Guimarães, one of the most beautiful cities along the Torres Way, a secret city that you need to discover slowly.