General Information
Ponte da Panchorra  
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  • Name: Bridge of Panchorra
  • Typology: Bridge
  • Classification: Public Interest Monument, by Decree 194/2013, DR 69, of 9th April 2013
  • Municipality: Resende
  • Visiting Hours: Free 
  • Entrance Fee: Free 
  • Support Services:
  • Telephone : 255 810 706 / 918 116 488   
  • Fax: 255 810 709  
  • E-Mail: rotadoromanico@valsousa.pt    
  • Web: www.rotadoromanico.com   
  • Location:
    Rua da Ponte da Panchorra, Panchorra, Resende, Viseu.
  • Geographic Coordinates: 41° 0' 50.33" N / 7° 58' 30.27" O 
History
History
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Bridge of Panchorra (Photo: © SIPA – IHRU)Located in the parish of Panchorra - in the southwest limit of the municipality of Resende, in the very heart of the Montemuro mountain range plateau and over the river Cabrum -, the Bridge of Panchorra was, for decades, considered as a Roman bridge. The probable existence of a Roman route which passed nearby possibly contributed to this association.

Located in a village of which the first historical references date back to 1258 and where there are other masonry bridges that owe their construction to the need for communication and trade between neighbouring villages, this Bridge should be understood, in spatial terms, within a more limited context: to provide safe access to the village's agricultural properties that extend themselves beyond the course of the river Cabrum.

Chronology
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1258 - First reference to Panchorra;

1288 - Reference to the existence of three farmhouses in Panchorra;

1513 - The charter of Terra de Aregos already refers all taxes paid to the crown;

1527 - Panchorra had between 71 and 77 inhabitants;

Before the 17th century - Construction of the Bridge of Panchorra;

1758 - Of all the clerics from the parishes of the Cabrum valley, only the one of Gralheira makes any reference to the (masonry) bridge of Gralheira;

2010 - Integration of the Bridge of Panchorra in the Route of the Romanesque;

2013 - The Bridge of Panchorra is classified as Public Interest Monument.

Specialities
Architecture
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The Bridge of Panchorra, with a double round arch, contradicts the common formula of trestle-shaped medieval bridges built in places where valleys were rather narrow.

In fact, the choice of its location shows more concern with the immediate access to the municipality's limit than with the building of a solid and durable structure, despite its size, which resulted from the use of a granite outcrop from the river bed that allowed extending the structure with the addition of a minor arch aimed towards the right bank.

This asymmetry, together with the poor quality of the carving of stone that was used and the absence of cut-waters, reveals a vernacular language, in other words, the use of materials and resources from the region where the Bridge was built. Therefore, we are most certainly facing a work that was built by municipal commission.

Restoration and Enhancement
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Recreational and leisure-related infrastructures The area surrounding the Bridge was the subject of an intervention which prioritised the protection and the valorisation of this natural and vernacular space.

For this purpose, several recreational and leisure-related infrastructures were built (a bar, restrooms, a picnic area, a parking space), being inaugurated in September 2006.

Four years later, on May 14th, 2010, the Direção Regional de Cultura do Norte [Northern Regional Department of Culture] begins the process leading to the classification of the bridge and its stone slabbed paths as Monuments of Public Interest, as well as to the definition of their Special Protection Area.

On September 3rd, 2012, the Direção-Geral do Património Cultural [Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage], based on the favourable opinion of the Secção do Património Arquitetónico e Arqueológico do Conselho Nacional de Cultura [Architectural and Archaeological Heritage Department of the National Council of Culture], proposed to the Ministry of Culture the classification of the Bridge of Panchorra as a Monument of Public Interest.

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Bibliography

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ALVES, Alexandre - Artistas e artífices nas dioceses de Lamego e Viseu: I. Viseu: Governo Civil, 2001.

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HERCULANO, Alexandre, dir. - Portugalliae monumenta historica : o saeculo octavo post christum usque ad quintumdecimum: inquisiciones. Lisboa: Tipografia Nacional, 1936.

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PINHO, Luís; LIMA, António Manuel - Antes de Cinfães: da Pré-História à Idade Média. In VENTURA, Jorge - Monografia de Cinfães. Cinfães: Câmara Municipal de Cinfães, 2000. Vol. 2.

PINTO, Joaquim Caetano - Resende: monografia do seu concelho. Braga: [edição de autor], 1982.

RESENDE, Nuno - Ponte da Panchorra: Resende. In ROSAS, Lúcia, coord. cient. – Rota do Românico. Lousada: Centro de Estudos do Românico e do Território, 2014. Vol. 1, p. 395-410.

RESENDE, Nuno - Fervor & devoção: património, culto e espiritualidade nas ermidas de Montemuro: séculos XVI a XVIII. Porto: Universidade do Porto, 2012.

RODRIGUES, Manuel - [Memória Paroquial da] Gralheira [Manuscrito]. 1758. Acessível em ANTT, Lisboa. PT/TT/MPRQ/17/100.

SEQUEIRA, José Pinto de - [Memória Paroquial de] São Cipriano [Manuscrito] . 1758. Acessível em ANTT, Lisboa. PT/TT/MPRQ/12/489.

TEIXEIRA, Baltazar Manuel de Carvalho Pinto - [Memória Paroquial de] Oliveira do Douro [Manuscrito]. 1758. Acessível em ANTT, Lisboa. PT/TT/MPRQ/26/20.

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