Mob justice in Vila de Basto
Two sisters, both bakers and very beautiful, lived in Vila de Basto. The youngest one was called Aldonça; she was about eighteen years old, single and betrothed to Sancho Meleiro, a good man and a grain merchant.
Since the marriage had been set up, it was necessary to pay the tribute which had replaced the right of landlords to “enjoy” the bride before her husband.
When Sancho and Aldonça travelled to the Castle in order to pay the tribute, the “mayor” was attracted by Aldonça's beauty and refused to receive that tribute, demanding to “enjoy” the bride. The latter, indignant, threw the tribute's value at his feet and likely said that she would only belong to her future husband.
Facing such an insult, Sancho Meleiro got involved in a fight with the mayor; the latter managed to dominate the groom with the help of other men who were in the Castle. Then, the mayor arrested Sancho and had his ears severed.
Seeing all this, Aldonça flees the Castle towards the village crying for help. Outraged, the people mutinied, the bells rang in alarm and mobs came from all corners of the Terra de Basto to invade the Castle.
The mayor, fearing the worst, decided to compensate Meleiro for the disfigurement he had caused him and granted him his freedom.
Despite losing this fight, the mayor did not give up on the harassment. His new target was Aldonça's older sister, called Guiomar, who was thirty years old and already a widow. He began bothering her with requests until, one morning, the mayor met her in the village and likely said that, at night, he would come for her at her house.
Facing such proposal, Guiomar told everything to Sancho Meleiro who seized his opportunity to seek revenge from the mayor and advised Guiomar to receive him at home, where she had her bread-baking ovens.
As agreed, the mayor visits Guiomar's house that night accompanied by a squire from the Castle. After knocking on the door, he went in, while the squire waited outside for his master.
When the mayor gets into the house he is attacked and killed by Guiomar's relatives. In order to leave no traces of the crime, they put him in the oven, reducing him to ashes.
The legend adds that the mayor's servant, thinking that his master had been long delayed, decided to knock on the door, to remind him of the need to return. As soon as he entered the door, the servant had the same fate as his master.
Meanwhile, the days went by and the mayor was nowhere to be found. There were armed men looking for him everywhere but it was all in vain: nobody knew where he was.
Faced with this disappearance, King D. Dinis decided to hand the Castle to the village residents in exchange for an annual rent.
The taking of the Castle of Arnoia
The legend of the taking of the Castle of Arnoia tells us that, for some time, the Moors ruled that area, forcing the Christians to carry stones to the Castle for days and nights on end.
Gradually, discontent and anger inspired them to fight against those who were forcing them to carry out such harsh task. However, these were few and poorly armed. Until one late afternoon, when, after joining all the cattle available nearby and placing clappers on the animals' necks, they made their way to the Castle with torches lit on the horns of goats and oxen.
All around, along the wall and from top of the tower, the Moors were only able to see the lights. These would multiply and, at the same time, they heard a thunderous noise. In the distance and under the dark blanket of the night, this group deceived the invaders, who thought it to be a large army. The option was to escape and postpone the confrontation. The legend also tells that many buried treasures were left behind.