The St. James Way
“Those who walk the «Caminho de Santiago», will be happy to experience the reconciliation of the spirit with the serenity which was once lived in the past, while visiting the monuments on the way and enjoying the local landscapes”.
A Caminho de Santiago, roteiro do peregrino, Conde de Almada, Lello Editores, jan 2000.
Lanheses, its river and valley, have always been an historical centre for a large movement of people and goods. Let us remember that several pre-medieval canoes were found on its banks and there is strong evidence of the Roman route "Per Loca Maritima” came through here and is related to the legend of River of Forgetfulness, discussed earlier.
There is even documentary evidence that in the eighteenth and nineteenth century two foreign pilgrims, one on his way to Santiago de Compostela and the other coming from there, died in this parish.
Indeed, this place was one of the most important cross roads on the Caminho de Santiago.
Portugal ackowledged the discovery of the tomb of the Apostle St. James in Compostela in Galicia in the 9th century. In the 11th century Galícia was still part of the Portucalense County, when Count D. Henrique, father of the first king of Portugal asks St James his blessing for the conquest of Coimbra. Several of his descendants did the same, among them the best known are Queen D. Isabel and King D. Manuel I.
Here in Lanheses the proposed footpath overlaps the Pilgrim's trail (PR 22), towards Serra de Arga, being separated at the junction that goes to the Monastery of St. John.
At Geraz do Lima crosses the river Lima, where an interesting milestone dated March 1742, refers to the privileges and price that passengers had to pay the boatman.
Then, the path crosses the Roman bridge of Linhares over the stream known by the name of Olho before arriving at the small square of Seara, where goods were weighed in and where an ancient tile oven is still visible.
Not far lies our Paço de Lanheses with its fountain whose water was offered to those who walked by.
From there it follows to the Santa Eulália de Lanheses Parish Church and to several other chapels, shrines and crosses.