Our Region / Cinfães

Cinfães

Cinfães, head of municipality. The name's origin seems to have been Cynfanes.  The town of de Cintiles comes from a personal name, in the genitive Cintilanis that is "Cinfilanis villa".

Cinfães, head of municipality. The name's origin seems to have been Cynfanes.  The town of de Cintiles comes from a personal name, in the genitive Cintilanis that is "Cinfilanis villa". In the middle of the slope that raises itself fromMontemuro until the river Douro, emerges the village, proud of its illustrious horizons. With its bucolic atmosphere, the rural smells and all its rural elegance, with houses dressing the river, barn floors with panniers of wooden boards with granitic feet. Chestnut trees testing the space current.

The terrain is slashed by smallholdings, where each one has its own field. Properties with the corresponding house, royal or less patriarchal, which passes on to the municipality some beats of legacy. Almost all houses are faced to the river Douro and while some have naked frontages, others carry their coats of arms with dignity.

From the great variety of houses, quintas and manor houses, we stand out: Santa Bárbara (Sequeiro Longo), Casal (Casal de Civliies), Soalheiro (Cidadelhe), Chieira (Teixeiró), Bouças, Bouça, Paço (Travassos), Tintureiros, Fervença (vila de Cintiles), also known as "Paço". In the parish area, appear toponyms that can serve as interesting research leads, as Contença, Travassos, Lagarelhos, Pedra Escrita (in Vila Viçosa), Pias (this may be derived from opened graves in rocks and, perhaps, existing there). From the Romans were kept the towns of Cidadelhe.

Whether in the towering regions or in the valley, we came across to locations that, for the materials collected in exploring or in digging, suggest us a prehistoric occupation of the chalcolithic and the Bronze age. Places like Alto do Castelinho (Nespereira), Coroas (Ferreiros), Roda do Merouço (Nespereira) and Castelo Velho (Ervilhais. Nespereira) provide materials such as oblong hand mills and not turned pottery that, for being too dehydrated by the exposition to erosion, do not allow a secure classification.
In Alto do Castelinho are still perceptible remains of the walled compound that certainly surrounded the top. In the other hand, in Quinta da Cheira (Cidadelhe, Cinfães) hand mills, silex artefacts and ceramologic materials from the copper and bronze ages associated to pole holes and silos
were exhumed by digging.  

The romanization of the territory, which established the Municipality of Cinfães nowadays, may have been constituted in the time of Augusto, the emperor responsible for the land-use planning of the Roman Hispania, probably between 16 - 13 a.C., time where his presence in peninsular territory is documented.
Through the elements we have, we know that the villages of the Iron Age were still occupied after the Roman occupation of the territory being extended, in some cases, by their influence.

Of equal or even larger importance, would be the Castelo de S. Paio, in the parish of S. Cristóvão de Nogueira. Established in the line of 400 m, it rules the valley and the stream course with the same name until this gathers itself to Douro, near the Carrapatelo Dam. The village has been developed around a rocky mass, which was its acropolis and would occupy an immense area, given the dispersion of the archaeological material. We can only see small pieces of one of the walls, facing North. There are news of abundant findings in the border of this village such as supports, capitals. Columns of several thickness, cushioned slabs, an oven, coins and inscriptions, that for its quality and importance have caught the attention of archaeologists and epigraphists since the beginning of the century.

Hatmaking
The braid is usually made with three straw lofts, being the 'canudos' sharpened before putting that one in the hats, fans or baskets. The braid is stitched with a twelve-string thread (in hats) and eight-string (for baskets).
The braidmakers carried the products of their work in their heads, overloaded throughout the mountain, underneath the 'carrolas' of hats, fans or baskets that they carried tied in one big fabric  by their ends. Two or three women would go to the fairs, all the journey by foot, taking hours and hours to beat the Montemuro mountain. What they feared the most in their journeys to Nespereira e Castro Daire, was the mountain's wind. Overloaded with very large 'Carrolas', the wind hindered the normal pacing, usually so hard, originating dangerous falls. When they saw snow near S. Pedro, they wouldn't dare cross the mountain and they would not go to the fairs. Likewise, the fog in the hilltop demotivated any crossing.

Basketry
Made by basket makers, in almost every parishes of the Municipality, in wicker (baskets of several shapes and sizes), in vergame de castanho (baskets) and straw and bramble (brezas).

Saddlery
Straps of scale and of cape, with bronze bells and applications in yellow metal

Tinwork
Oil lamps, olicans, buckets, firepans and jugs, typical of Porto antigo and Boassas.

Clog factory
Clogs made in tick crafted leather and wood.

Weaving
Plain and carded blankets of the mountain, in wool, carpets, rugs, mats and stair carpets in strips of fabric.

  • Rugs, sheets and towels, in linen.
  • Capuchas (capes used in Montemuro) made of sackcloth.
  • Rendas in cotton and bobbin

Skins
To carry wine, in cattle leather

Wooden miniatures
Miniatures of Barco Rabelo, made of wood