Situated in Portugal’s interior, the village of Monsanto charmed the Japanese tourism agents who elected it as one of the most beautiful villages in Europe. And we agree.
For many years, Monsanto has kept the pride of being elected during Salazar’s regime as the most Portuguese village of Portugal. Its charms of this region’s typical village, pleased the Japan Travel Association, whose delegation went to Monsanto on purpose in order to give the award of one of the most beautiful villages in Europe, on 24th of April. The only Portuguese on the list.
Imagem: Reprodução Vortex Mag
Monsanto’s history goes further back to the Paleolithic period, in which it was found records of human presence of that time. After that period there are several remains from the romans, the Lusitanos, Visigoths and Arabs. There are many remains left as a military centre, historical deeds related to the castle and the region’s defence. Today we still find many traditions such as the use of marafonas on the front door – colourful dolls made of cloth related to fertility, and the traditional frame drum, adufe, an instrument of arab origins and is played mainly by the village women.
These are some of the qualities which have convinced 300 Japanese travel agents. In an announcement from Idanha-a-Nova council, the delegation’s spokesman, Kotaro Kogi, confirms the election of the village is because of ”its extraordinary beauty, history, and cultural richness”.
With this award, Monsanto village will be part of a publication with an issue of more than 1000.000 copies about the most beautiful villages and towns in Europe, contributing, this way, to a promotion on big scale of this small village to the Japanese markets.