Aldeia do Piódão• http://www.aldeiasdoxisto.pt• http://www.aldeiasdoxisto.com/The villageof Piódão
Piódão is a portuguese medieval village in the Açor mountain range, closeto its highest point (1 340 meters).It is classified as Public Interest Monument since 1978, and was later listedas one of the Historical Villages of Portugal.
Piódão is located in thecountry’s central region,at the eastern border ofCoimbra municipality.Population ~180Coordinates40° 13.7 N, 7° 49.5 W
The village was built like a downhill cascade of dark houses in schist stone with slateroofs. Amidst them stands a pristine white-and-blue church .
The church dates back to the 17thcentury, but was restored lately inthe neoclassical style.
The interior is quite luminous and bright, rich in gold decoration,under a beautiful wood-paneled ceiling.
Building houses this way, closely clustered, helps protecting from strong winds andthe severe summer sun.
At each corner of thenarrow steep alleys andstaired lanes, through awindow or on a terrace,you can find the framefor a nice photo.The village surprisesfor its harmoniousintegration into thenatural setting of thesurrounding forestedhills.
Piódão is famous for its traditionalhouses with shale walls and blue-painted wooden doors and windows.
Building materials are offered bysurrounding nature: schist, slatestone and wood. The slate-roofsare either saddle roofs or four sideroofs.
Piódão has the typical outlineof a mountain settlement.The houses ascend the slope,sheltered from the winds, andnarrow streets of cobbledstone go up the hill or across,following the terrain’s relief.
Local people live mainly of agriculture (corn, potatoes, beans, vine),livestock (sheep and goats, cheese production) and also beekeeping.The small fertile areas in difficult terraced ground doesn´t help.
The youngsters have been emigrating to foreign countries or to the coastal zones insearch of a better life, leaving behind an aging population. This situation threatens theexistence of the village itself in the long run.
Currently, the desertificationof areas in the interior is amajor concern.Some jobs appeal to youngurban people (tourism,handcraft, facilities) andyoung couples are slowlycoming to these villages.