GC2BZJV- Cruzeiro da Amêndoa [Mação]
The Amêndoa Wayside Cross was erected in 1940 to commemorate the 8th centenary of Portugal´s Independence and to celebrate the 3rd centenary of the Restoration of Independence in 1640.
The site serves as a viewpoint over the village and all the surrounding area and it is possible to appreciate the landscape from many Kilometers away.
The Romans called this land Amindula, which was located on the edge of the Roman road that went from Igaedis (Idanha-a-Velha) to Tubucci (Abrantes).
The first population settlements of Amêndoa date back to prehistoric times. Some vestiges of this period have been found, such as the Anta do Cabeço das Penedentas, in a place called Pêro Gonçalves, which would be a dolmen, where a slate plate with two holes at the top, representing an idol, very common in Lusitania and exclusive to the Iberian Peninsula, was found.In a place called Coutada, some fragments of polychrome "opustelatum", parts of Roman mosaic with geometric decoration and ceramics from the 1st century BC were collected.
Another great historical landmark was the discovery of the Castro de S. Miguel, in Serra da Ladeira. In its surroundings, a large collection of objects was collected, such as millstones, axes, spears, lances, engraved copper plates and ceramics. In a nearby vineyard, called Coutada, some fragments of polychrome "opustelatum", parts of a Roman mosaic with geometric decoration, and 1st century BC ceramics were collected.
The settlement, a Celtic construction, still preserves the remains of a wall that dates back to 350 BC, and is believed to have been inhabited until the 7th century AD, due to the various fragments found there, including a Visigothic belt buckle.
After its conquest from the Moors by D. Afonso Henriques in 1165, Amêndoa was donated to the Knights Templar, to whom it belonged until 1174. In 1231, it already belonged to the Order of Malta, which had been given all the land of Guidintesta by D. Sancho I, in 1194. In 1336 it was already a fairly autonomous population, with its own jurisdiction of a village as it had judges and almotacés, which allowed it to obtain rents and royal rights. In 1372, D. Fernando I donated to D. Afonso Fernandes de Lacerda, among other things, half the village with all the jurisdictions, which later and by succession, came to fall to the Marquises of Fontes and later to those of Abrantes.
In 1514 by order of King Manuel I it became a commandery of the Order of Christ and in 1527 King João III ordered the first "General Census of the Population" to be carried out. At that date, Amêndoa registered 36 housing units and 162 inhabitants.
After six hundred years as a municipality, in 1836, Amêndoa was downgraded to the category of parish and integrated in the municipality of Vila de Rei until, by decree of 6 July 1888, it became part of the municipality of Mação.
Another great attraction of this village is the Church of Our Lady of Conceição, a 13th century temple which is already included in the «Catálogo de todas as Igrejas de Portugal do ano de 1320» (Catalogue of all Churches of Portugal of the year 1320). It is a three nave church where we can admire an armchair made of wood from Brazil with leather carved, yellow uphostery nails and the coat of arms of the Castros. Here there is also a brass offering plate with a Gothic inscription. We can also see paintings on canvas depicting St. Michael of the 18th century.