There is no doubt that the best way to explore a new city is on foot. This walking tour will lead you across some of the most important landmarks of Viseu, a city made of granite, noble character and endless flowers!
Surrounded by some of the most interesting buildings in Viseu, Rossio is the heart of the city. This area, where during the late 18th century the European fashion of public promenade was also adopted, was, since the 15th century, the favourite place for Viseu natives to socialize. Nowadays it still attracts local population and visitors to enjoy a few leisure moments among outdoor cafes, under the fresh shade of the lime trees while enjoying scenes from everyday life depicted in the tile panel surrounding the space designed by Joaquim Lopes in 1931.
If you want to enjoy green areas, you can rest at Jardim das Mães (Mothers Garden) or at the large tree area of Tomás Ribeiro Garden. At Aquilino Ribeiro Park, you will find several botanical species living side-by-side with a lake and a buffer zone. In the middle of this little piece of Nature, you will also discover a 16th century chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Victory. Come and discover the city right at its centre.
Located at Rossio, the Town hall was built in 1887 and from then on dominated the urban aesthetic in the city centre. The sober and white walled building, with doors and windows framed in stone rises majestically and leaves no one unaffected. Inside, you can enjoy a wrought iron chandelier designed by Arnaldo Malho, the wood work by Master António Loureiro which decorates the Noble Hall, coloured tiles which decorate the staircase and ceiling paintings signed by Viseu painter José de Almeida e Silva.
At the end of Aquilino Ribeiro Park, there is a staircase which leads the steps and draws the eyes of those who climb it to the crystal clear façade of Terceiros de São Francisco Church, where dark granite emphasizes twists and turns, which fit well with the Baroque aesthetic. The magnificent door invites you to take a tour inside where you will find a remarkable set of painted and golden tally retables in Rococo style aligned with tile panels showing moments in the life of Saint Francis and the striking 18th century organ in the choir will certainly delight you.
Fountain of Santa Cristina is Viseu’s oldest fountain located in square Largo de Santa Cristina. Fountain “Fonte de Santa Cristina” dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries and is decorated with a coat of arms of an unknown princess and King D. Manuel I armilar sphere.
Palace-like Casa de Cimo de Vila or Solar dos Peixotos is the most magnificent house in Viseu for its general lines, but also for being a characteristic sample of civil 18th century Portuguese architecture. This house is particularly impressive, because it contains a great variety of azulejos inside that profusely decorate the noble entry stairs, as well as wall coatings of some living rooms, of its extremely beautiful chapel or even the kitchen.
Surrounded by 18th and 19th century buildings, Praça D. Duarte was the main centre of this city until the end of 19th century.
By 1992, “Pilot projects to conserve European architectural heritage” was applied to Praça D. Duarte which basically consists of a central zone within Viseu historical centre next to the south wing of Sé Catedral. This square bears the name of a King D. Duarte who was born in 1391 in Viseu and whose statue was built there in 1955. Surrounded by 18th and 19th century buildings, Praça D. Duarte was the main centre of this city until the end of 19th century.
This house was built in the 16th century in the ancient Miradouro (belvedere) spot which nowadays square Largo António José Pereira. Building’s right wing has two pairs of geminated windows that provide this enchanting house with a touch of antiqueness. Casa do Miradouro manor house is made of uncoated granite and has a grass patio surrounded by ancient trees.
Viseu is famous for its rich historical heritage, along with a unique gastronomy and outstanding wines. But there’s more to it! Old buildings, once abandoned or somehow forgotten, are now bursting with life and colour thanks to the creative work of several street artists who were invited by the municipality to leave their incredible mark in the city.
Learn more about the Street Art Route in Viseu.
Discovering Viseu through its countless gardens and parks is a fascinating journey across Portugal's garden city. A truly well-deserved label that the city proudly exhibits since 1935 !
Learn more about the Garden Route in Viseu.