Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley

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Penascosa site, photo by João Romba

After running through the deep and carved granitic canyon, the Côa river lands on a schist-based scenery, with slopes of almond trees and vineyards, until it reaches the Douro river. On its final seventeen kilometres, the schist rocks delimiting the bed of the Côa River have been converted in art canvases over thousands of years, being used for engravings that are the legacy of our ancestors' creative instinct. From the Upper Paleolithic era, this "open-air" canvas are the testemonial of the nomadic people, their vitality and their mastery on engraving, that brought us 25 000 years of history.

gravuras2World heritage by UNESCO since 1998, the Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley (PAVC) is the biggest open-air exhibition of Paleolithic Art in the world, with more than one thousand represatations, mainly engravings and some paintings as well. The motifs are dominated by the representation of the wild herbivores that roamed this lands at the time - horses, auroches, goats and deer - but also some religious and anthropomorphic motifs can be seen.

Nowadays around 60 sites are known, scattered across the 26 km of the Archaeological Park. Three of them are visitable, on the vilagges of Muxagata, Castelo Melhor, from where visitors are transported in all-terrain vehicles. The sites that can visited are:

- Canada do Inferno (Starting at the Côa Museum, Vila Nova de Foz Côa),
- Penascosa (at Castelo Melhor)
- Ribeira dos Piscos (starting at Muxagata)

Photo by António Martinho Batista


GUIDED TOURS TO ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES
Choose to visit the Penascosa site, at Castelo Melhor, as the Grande Route crosses the village on stage 10 EAST and WEST walking, and stage 3 on mountain bike, and opt by a daily or nightly visit.
For booking your visit please contact:
- Côa Museum | +351 279 768 260/1 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- Central of Reservations | +351 965 778 799
- Guided Tours 


museocoaCÔA MUSEUM
Built in 2010 by the architects Camilo Rebelo and Tiago Pimentel, it is inspired on the concept of land art architecture, combining contemporaneous traces with the use of wide and square spaces inside, discretely fit on the landscape over the Côa river. The building is world-known by the architectural prizes that won.

Art, Archaeology and Architecture melt at teh Museum, a territorial reference and an entrance door for the ancient Côa Valley, where, through the art, the humankind is revealed.

CONTACTS
Museu do Côa, Rua do Museu
5150-610 Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Portugal
Photo by António Martinho Batista

Tel (geral e visitas):  +351 279 768 260/1
http://www.arte-coa.pt

Museum: N 41º 04’ 47.5’’ ; W 7º 06’ 44.4’’
Castelo Melhor Site: N 41º 01’ 31.7’’ ; W 7º 04’ 00.2’’


* Text from the website Arte-coa.pt


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