The region of the Historical Village Castelo Rodrigo, also known as "the star village", is absolutely mind-blowing for dark sky enthusiasts! The Convent of Santa Maria de Aguiar is a bright star that shines since 1174!
The Great Côa Valley territory offers great stargazing possibilities, namely the councils of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Sabugal, Almeida, Pinhel and Vila Nova de Foz Côa.
Located in the surroundings of the Historical Village Castelo Rodrigo, on the banks of Aguiar river stream, in a beautiful plain, the Convent of Santa Maria de Aguiar that was in fact a Monastery dates back to 1174, the beginning of the Portuguese nation.
It was donated by the first King of Portugal, Dom Afonso Henriques, to the Cistercian Order. The establishment of the monastery was made possible thanks to a significant number of donations and privileges from Leon. Initially living in Torre de Aguiar, the Benedictine community that first occupied the monastery accepted the Cistercian rule from 1170 onwards. The agricultural techniques have played a major influence in an aparentely wild and poor territory.
The dam of Santa Maria de Aguiar, a true paradise for water birds, is placed 9 km away from the Convent of Santa Maria de Aguiar. It is a must-see spot of this region for stargazing fans. Its dark starry skies are absolutely jaw-dropping!