500 years of history
The manor house at Paço d’Anha is a fine example of 16th Century Portuguese architecture.
The farm at Anha is located in the lands between the rivers Lima and Neiva which were called «Terras do Neiva» (Neiva´s lands) and belonged to the King D. João I of Portugal. When the King’s son married the daughter of Nuno Álvares Pereira in 1401, his parents were happy with the marriage and very generous with their wedding gifts. Hence the King gave the lands of Neiva and Darque to the bride and groom, D. Afonso and D. Brites.
Thus the Anha farm became D. Afonso´s property; he was the first duke of Bragança and his arms can be seen in three locations inside the farm. In 1503, when D. Jaime, the 4th duke of Bragança, married D. Leonor de Mendonça, there was a wedding which involved ownership of the farm. A document in the present owner’s possession states that: «Vicente Ferreira who was from the Duke of Bragança´s house, married a lady-in-waiting to the duchess, and he was given as dowry the Anha´s farm and other goods».
In 1580, Portugal had a terrible crisis of succession which involved the manor farm. D. Antonio, Crato´s prior, was named King of Portugal in Santarém and by the Viana Senate on the 8th August, supported by the people. But on 26th August, the Spanish defeated the Portuguese at Alcantara. D. António escaped with some faithful friends and went to hide in the North. He first hid in Aveiro, then in Porto, then in Barcelos (where his friends left him) and later in Viana, where he arrived on the 23rd October 1580. There he slept one night before the arrival of Fernando de Sandoval’s Spanish troops.
The Spanish offered a reward for his capture, but the King sought refuge in several rich and poor houses, and no one betrayed him. He stayed in the North for several months and at Anha´s farm for about 20 days. The owner, António Gonçalves Cabeças along with his wife, Genebra Barbosa de Caldas, welcomed him with great honour.
D. António stayed longer in Minho, where his cause had more supporters, hiding where he could. The people sometimes paid tribute to him by calling the places where he slept “palaces” (“paços”, in Portuguese). That’s what happened to António Cabeças’ house and as a result it is called Paço d´Anha today.
The Paço d'Anha today
Absolute privacy and tranquility is afforded by the visitors’ accommodation in renovated rural buildings.
Paço d’Anha has changed greatly since 1580 as subsequent generations have improved the manor house and estate. In 1625, João d’Agorreta ordered the construction of a chapel and set up the Entailed Estate. The house itself was renewed but still displays a 16th century façade. In the 19th and 20th centuries, a wing house was built, and agricultural improvements were made.
Thus over the years Paço d´Anha has become more modern, but the owners always sought to retain a balance between tradition and regional interests and new technologies. The wine cellars are an example of that effort.
From 1973 onwards, vines have been planted by modern, mechanical methods with the “Bacelos” (vine twigs) S04-17; noble white casts were grafted, traditional from the region: Loureiro, Trajadura, Pedemã e Azal Branco. Vinification, conservation and bottles are made with both traditional methods and high technology, appropriate to producing a fine wine.
The Anha Manor Farm was also one of the first Portuguese farms developed to receive guests in the “Agroturismo” (Agricultural Tourism) industry. Paço d’Anha has the requisite beauty, historical interest, and intense agricultural activities which allow guests to take part in activities or merely relax and enjoy what is going on around them.