This would have been a particularly imaginative artist with technical skills far above his peers, the most interesting painter of frescoes of the Portuguese Renaissance, whose work is very well known and dominated by plastic effects of great technical virtuosity.
The importance of the painter of frescoes, who would also be a great painter with easel, art considered nobler at the time, lies in the fact that he was commissioned by important figures of the society of the time, as stated by Luís Afonso, including the abbot of Pombeiro, D. António de Melo. The contract, according to the author, would have included works in the Churches of Vila Verde, Arnoso and Vila Marim, all part of the heritage of the Monastery of Pombeiro.
The high skills of Arnaus lead him to make the most of the relationship between mural painting and architecture, cleverly making use of windows, recesses and blind arches to create, or increase, the scenic effects of optical illusion. Through this technique, mentions Afonso, Arnaus gives his art greater realism and depth.
He was born in 1024 and died in 1102. He was the son of Count D. Aciega Visóis, Lord of Basto, and of D. Aragunta Soares. He was a nobleman at the court of King D. Fernando, Governor of the “Terra” [territory] of Sousa and founder, together with his wife Gontroda, of the Monastery of Pombeiro.
This Monastery was built in his own land in the valley of Pombeiro, where there was a Chapel dedicated to Saint Mary, which was destroyed by the Moors. In addition to the foundation, the couple donated their farms of Sousa, of Idães, of Penacova, of Pombeiro and other assets.
Friar José de Santo António de Vilaça
Friar José de Santo António Vilaça (December 18th, 1731, Braga - August 30th, 1809, Braga) was a Benedictine sculptor, wood carver and architect of the 18th century. He devoted his life largely to the work in the Benedictine churches of the dioceses of Braga and Porto.
Author of a vast artistic production, António Vilaça, son of the carpenter Custódio Ferreira, engages in the art of wood in the Monastery of Tibães, around 1757, where he ends up taking his vows.
António Vilaça's work as a decorative engraver always stood out in his art, although he still designed the plans of several religious buildings and sketched many statues. He also designed altars, pulpits, valances, window and door frames, boxes for organs and chairs, benches, credences and arm-chairs of significant originality.
After being sent, in the summer of 1764, to Refojos, Cabeceiras de Basto, where he designed all the carving, Vilaça arrives at the Monastery of Pombeiro in 1770, where he participated in the modernization of the Romanesque temple. This mammoth task lasted for two decades. António Vilaça is buried in the main cloister of Tibães.
Gonçalo Mendes de Sousa
Gonçalo Mendes de Sousa, the Good, was born in 1124. He was the son of Mem Viegas de Sousa and was a counsellor of King D. Afonso Henriques who, in 1155, gave him a royal estate in the "Couto" [place of privileges] of Pombeiro and recognized as lord and ruler of the “Terra” [territory].
D. Gonçalo de Sousa chose the manor of Unhão for his residence and erected the local Church, dedicated in the year 1165, by Archbishop of Braga D. João Peculiar. It is said that, that same year, King D. Afonso Henriques was welcomed in his home, having then occurred an erotic episode, narrated in the “Livro de Linhagens” [Book of Lineages] of Count D. Pedro and later resumed as the theme of the curious historic novel, titled “O Pecado de D. Afonso Henriques” [The Sin of King D. Afonso Henriques], written by playwright D. João de Castro.
Gonçalo Mendes de Sousa died on 5th October 1179. In his last wishes, he chose the Monastery of Pombeiro as his grave, leaving to the monastery all his estates of Basto, three pounds of Church of Margaride, five pounds of the Church of Saint Verissimus, the Church of Samarim to remake the sacred vestments and tower (current home of the “Paço” [Palace] of Pombeiro) that he built for hospice and inn for those pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela.
D. Manuel de Faria e Sousa
Born in Quinta do Souto (or Caravela), in the parish of Pombeiro, county of Felgueiras on March 18th, 1590. He was the son of Amador Peres de Eiró, nobleman of the Royal House of D. Luísa de Faria, granddaughter of the Lord of Valmelhorado. He was baptized in the Church of the Benedictine Monastery of Pombeiro.
At age 10 he went to Braga to study Humanities. The commitment shown in the studies did not go unnoticed, and, in 1604, he was admitted as secretary in the service of the Archbishop of Porto, D. Gonçalo de Morais Francisco who, incidentally, was his relative.
In 1614 he marries Catarina Machado, daughter of Pedro Machado, the first bookkeeper of the Royal Treasury of Porto, and Catarina Lopes Ferreira.
Ambitious for higher offices, in 1619, he left for Madrid as the private secretary to Pedro Álvares Pereira, Count of Muge, who held the position of Secretary of the State Council of the dynasty of the Filipes for Portuguese affairs.
After the Restoration of Independence of Portugal in 1640, he decided not to return to Portugal for reasons not fully understood. However, there is a theory that argues that Manuel de Faria e Sousa did not return so that he could work as an informer of the Portuguese crown on the actions of Madrid.
He died on June 3rd, 1649 at the home of the Marquis de Montebelo. Buried in the Monastery of Premonstratrenses in Madrid, he was later transferred to the Monastery of Pombeiro.
Author of at least 20 printed and 16 handwritten works, Manuel de Faria e Sousa was a poet, historian and a remarkable writer. In 29 years of work, he wrote thousands of pages, even writing in one day as much as one hundred letters on different subjects. He was the first to write in eight syllable verses, which consisted of eleven, as well as the consonants sestinas.
As a writer, he was also the author of the first major interpretation of "Os Lusíadas", by Luís de Camões, in 1639. As a historian, he followed João de Barros. In the works “Epitome de las histórias portuguesas”, of 1628, “Ásia Portuguesa”, of 1666, and “África Portuguesa”, of 1681 - these last two posthumously printed - Manuel de Faria e Sousa demonstrates his desire to draw a general history of our country.
Portuguese navigator, born in the county of Felgueiras (15th century - 1504). Expert in astronomy navigation, he was the commander of one of three ships that participated in the discovery of the sea route to India, in 1498.
During the journey, the missions of probing the anchorages for the fleet, as well as of exploring the African coast, were entrusted to him as proof of his experience and knowledge.
On the return trip to Portugal, on April 25th, 1499 and at the time of the low height of the Great River (current Guinea Bissau), Nicolau Coelho is parted from Vasco da Gama due to a sudden storm. Deciding to continue the journey, the Bérrio is the first vessel of the expedition to enter the river Tagus, on July 10th, 1499, giving the first news of the success of the mission. The important role played during the trip was rewarded by D. Manuel, who granted him, on January 24th 1500, a pension of 50,000 reis per year.
Only six months after returning from India, Nicolau Coelho departures once again to the East in the armada of Pedro Alvares Cabral. Consisting of thirteen ships, the fleet sailed from Restelo on March 9th 1500, with Nicolau Coelho at the command of the Berrio. The formal objective of the trip was to try to resume trade relations with the Indic ports of Calicut, Cananor and Sofala, as Vasco da Gama, in his first attempt, had been totally disastrous.
On April 22nd 1500, accidentally or deliberately - although recent historical research argue that the Portuguese had strong evidence of the existence of land on the other side of the Atlantic - he saw flat land with large trees.
The recognition of the coast of this new territory was again entrusted to Nicolau Coelho rec, as the command of a small vessel sent to firm land to establish contact with the natives who were on the beach. Again, the navigator from Felgueiras showed his experience and ability to establish relationships with new people.
The land discovered was named Terra de Santa Cruz (today Porto Seguro, in the Brazilian state of Bahia). On May 2nd of that same year, the fleet sailed to India finally fulfilling the formal goal of the travel.
On April 13th 1503, just over a year after his return to Portugal, Nicolau Coelho departs for the third time to India, at the command of the ship Faial, of the armada of Afonso and Francisco de Albuquerque.
However, on the return trip, in January 1504, the Faial sank near the "shoals of Saint Lazarus" (now the Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique), and the navigator found his death in the disaster.
The Sousas or Sousões
This important family of the Tâmega and Sousa actively participated in the Reconquest of Lisbon, through the first of the Sousões, D. Gonçalo Mendes, besides being associated with other cases of resettlement and reconstruction of castles, as the one in Alcanede.
Large portions of land in Lisbon became property of the Sousões, including Barcarena, which would have passed on to the son of D. Gonçalo Mendes, D. Mendo de Sousa.
D. Teresa of Leon (1080, Monastery of Monte de Ramo (Galicia) or Póvoa de Lanhoso - November 11th, 1130), also spelled Tarasia or Tareja, was Princess of Leon and later, by marriage to the Count D. Henrique, Countess (or Queen, as it appears in some sources) of Portugal.
Illegitimate daughter of King D. Alfonso VI of León and Castile and Ximena Moniz, a Castilian noblewoman, she was given away in marriage, in 1093, to Henrique of Burgundy, a French nobleman who had helped King D. Alfonso VI in the conquests to the Moors. Teresa was 13 and Henrique 24. Afonso VI gives the couple the County of Portucale, a territory between the Minho and the Vouga and, after 1096, between the Minho and the Tagus.
Widowed in 1112, she already had an offspring of four children: Afonso Henriques, who would be king of Portugal, and her daughters Urraca, Teresa and Sancha Henriques.
Surrounded by the forces of D. Urraca, her half-sister with whom she was in a constant struggle, she secludes herself in the castle of Lanhoso, where she is able to negotiate the Treaty of Lanhoso (1121) that allows her to keep the government of the Portucalense County.
She puts all her trust in the Galician nobility, especially in D. Perez, Count of Trava, which alienated the Portucalense nobleman against her and her own son, Afonso Henriques. Together, they draw the power from the hands of the mother by the force of arms, at the Battle of São Mamede, on June 24th, 1128. Having found refuge in Galicia, D. Teresa is accompanied by the Galician nobleman, with whom she had a daughter.
Her remains have since been transferred to the See of Braga, where they lie beside her first husband, Count D. Henrique.