Located on a plateau in the interior of the country, it is part of the network of 12 “Historical Villages” of Portugal, a group of very old urban centers with a foundation predating the Portuguese nation, located in the Beiras region and of great historical importance.
A stage of numerous conflicts between Christianity and Islam, the main entrance is through the Porta d’el Rei of the wall that surrounds the medieval castle, reconquered in 1160 by the 1st king of Portugal.
The Jewish presence can be observed in dozens of cruciformes and Hebrew inscriptions, in the architecture, in the famous House of the Black Cat and in the works of the future Center of Jewish Interpretation “Isaac Cardoso”.
In Trancoso, there is still the headquarters of the English General Beresford, Count of Trancoso, commander of the Anglo-Portuguese troops during the Peninsular War against the Napoleonic troops.
It was here that the famous Trovas do Bandarra appeared, forbidden by the Holy Office because they were considered messianic prophecies that refer to the myth of the return of Encoberto, linked to D. Sebastião, disappeared in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir.
The statue of the “prophet of Trancoso,” the Portuguese Nostradamus, a cobbler who became one of the most esoteric figures of Portugal in composing divine-inspired troves that prophesied the loss of Portugal’s independence in 1580 and its restoration in 1640, in the municipality.
On Fridays, one of the biggest markets of Beira Alta is held, in August the well-known annual fair of São Bartolomeu, and in December, the Fair of Santa Luzia. Trancoso also promotes the Smoke, Flavors and Handicrafts Fair of the Northeast of Beira every year with various exhibitors of sausages and smoked products, cheeses, bread, regional sweets, wines, honey, olive oils and regional handicrafts.
The Sweet Sardines are a specialty of the conventual confectionery of Trancoso, whose history dates back to the end of the 17th century, when it is believed to have begun its production in the Convent of Freiras of the Order of Santa Clara.