Village

Chiqueiro

Rocked to sleep by the bells of the flock.

Only the bells of the flock seem to contradict the feeling that hereabouts time stopped long ago.

Capela of Senhora da Guia, on the back.

Only a local couple and their numerous flock seem to contradict the feeling that time stopped here long ago. The village is bounded by two small watercourses and partly hidden by the lush vegetation that surrounds it.

The layout of the village is simple, basically arranged in two steep streets lined by houses. The predominant building material is rough unfinished, dark schist, and, except for the chapel, none of the buildings is rendered.

The surrounding forest and the fauna that inhabit it make it an excellent starting point for exploratory walks.
 

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Know the village

Heritage

 

Casal Novo, Talasnal and Chiqueiro are very similar in architectural terms, with essentially two types of building. Firstly, there are those that normally served as animal pens, featuring just a ground floor and consisting of dry-laid schist stone and a thatched roof. 

Secondly, dwelling houses consisting of two floors, with the top floor accessible by a schist staircase, comprising a single room for accommodation, often with the bread oven in one corner, and the ground floor space for accommodation or animals as well. The walls were made of schist with clay and straw mortar, and the structure made of chestnut wood or pine.

Worth a visit:

  • Chapel of Senhora da Guia
    This chapel was shared with the inhabitants of Casal Novo and Talasnal. It seems to have been the most important of the three chapels in the mountain villages as Chiqueiro had a resident priest. It is a rectangular schist building, rendered and painted on the corners with a sky blue strip. It contains a wooden statue of Our Lady of Guidance.

  • Religious inscription

  • On the facade of a house next to the chapel, a schist stone bears what remains of a small carved inscription. The letters “I H S” can be made out, corresponding to the trigram and symbol that was used by the Jesuits. It is likely that the inscription dates from the time when a resident priest lived in the village.

History

Permanent settlement of the villages of the Lousã Mountain occurred in the second half of the 17th century or beginning of the 18th when irrigated agriculture introduced new crops such as maize, potatoes and beans. Until then, occupation was only seasonal, in the spring and summer, with pastoralism practices.

The oldest documents that point to their occupation are a fine imposed by Lousã Council in 1679 and the register of tenant properties ordered by King Pedro II in 1687. At the beginning of the 19th century only Candal and Cerdeira escaped pillaging by the Napoleonic army.

In 1885 the population of the seven villages (the five Schist Villages, plus Catarredor and Vaqueirinho) corresponded to 8.7% of the total population of the parish of Lousã (5,340 inhabitants). Chiqueiro probably became one of the most important of the mountain villages. It had a resident parish priest and burials took place in its chapel.

Its resident population reached its peak in 1940 with 45 inhabitants. Since 1991 it has had two inhabitants.

Nature

Chiqueiro is included in the Site of Community Importance of the Lousã Mountain of the Natura 2000 Network. The hollies at the entrance to the village are joined by chestnut groves in the surrounding area, framing it with trees whose colours and shades vary with the rhythm of the seasons.

The forest avifauna and large mammals – red deer, roe deer, wild boar - are abundant and easily observable here. Here begin two small watercourses that join the Ribeira da Vergada which races downhill, passing alongside Talasnal on its way of join the Ribeira de São João.

Territory

Situated on the western side of the Lousã Mountain, the village lies on the northeast-facing slopes of the deeply incised river basin of the Ribeira de São João, the main watercourse draining this flank of the mountains.

Avoiding the steep slopes of the Serra, the mountain populations settled where there was a little more flat land. However, Chiqueiro, situated higher up, takes advantage of an area of shallower slopes.only the bekl

Stories and Facts

Origin of the name
From chico – meaning pig – and eiró, meaning pig pen, pigsty or unclean place.
“…Spring, Spring,
Spring of the herdsmen,
Those poor herdsmen
Who sleep in those pigsties…”
(popular Transmontane song)

It follows that the village would have had a significant number of buildings and rustic structures for use as animal pens, probably belonging to or occupied by transhumant shepherds who came from the Serra da Estrela to pasture their livestock in the Lousã Mountain.

Burials in the chapel
At the end of the 1950s the inhabitants of Chiqueiro, tired of the inconvenience of the dilapidated wood floor placed directly on the soil, decided to replace the interior flooring of the chapel. During the work of removing the surface layer of soil, the village was in uproar: three graves were exposed, revealing a dozen unusual objects quite unlike the meagre belongings of the inhabitants (swords, earrings, necklaces and crowns). The authorities were called and the objects collected and taken away. To the inhabitants, they were evidence of the presence in Chiqueiro of Princess Peralta, after fleeing the Castle of Lousã and taking refuge here.

Facts

  • Permanent inhabitants: fewer than 10

  • Patron Saint: Our Lady of Guidance

  • Iconic feature: Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Guia

Festivals

  • July - Meeting of mountain people (Santo António da Neve)

  • 2nd Saturday in September - Feast of Our Lady of Guidance

 

Products

  • Kid goat
  • Chestnuts
  • Cheese
  • Honey

Suggestions for the village of Chiqueiro

See in Chiqueiro

Pages

Contacts and Information

Location:
Chiqueiro, Lousã 
Getting Here:
De Norte e de Sul
Na A1 sair para Coimbra. Tome a N17 (Estrada da Beira) e 14 km após a ponte sobre o Rio Mondego saia para a N236 no sentido da Lousã. Após 9 km chega à Lousã. Aí deverá tomar o caminho florestal de terra batida, a partir de Cacilhas em direcção às Aldeias do Xisto. Siga depois as indicações para a aldeia.

De Espanha
Na A23 sair na saída 18 na direcção Pombal/Sertã tomando o IC8. Após 64 km sair na direcção de Castanheira de Pera pela N236-1. Após 10 km, em Castanheira de Pera, seguir pela N236, subindo a Serra da Lousã até encontrar indicação das Aldeias do Xisto à esquerda através de um caminho florestal em terra batida.

Contactos

Associado

Câmara Municipal da Lousã

Rua Doutor João Santos
3200 - 953 Lousã 
Portugal
(+351) 239 990 370/8
Associado

Posto de Turismo da Lousã

3200 Lousã 
Portugal
(+351) 239 990 040
Associado

Junta de Freguesia da Lousã e Vilarinho

Largo Alexandre Herculano, nº20
3200 Lousã 
Portugal
(+351) 239 996 386

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