Parador Casa da Ínsua (Portugal)

Know the environment

The current Casa da Ínsua—built in the 18th century by Luís de Albuquerque de Melo Pereira e Cáceres, governor and captain general of Mato Grosso and Guiabá, Brazil—sits on the site of the previous Casa da Ínsua—constructed by João de Albuquerque e Castro, fortress governor of Sabugal. It has retained some of the original elements, including the chapel and terrace.
 
Today, visitors can still find references to the previous owners, especially on the west-facing façade, with an escutcheon bearing the coat of arms of the Albuquerque family and the flowered cross of the Pereira family, as well as the ceiling paintings in the entrance with the family coat of arms.
 
It is also possible to find traces of Luís de Albuquerque's time in Brazil in various objects, primarily handmade hunting and fishing tools used by the Brazilian Indians and primitive indigenous weapons, as well as military devices of the Castilian army.

 

What to see

  • Casa da Ínsua Gardens
  • Cheese factory
  • Winery

What to do

Viseu (25 km)

  • Viseu Cathedral, 16th century
  • Walls and gates of the ancient city
  • La Misericordia Church, 18th century
  • Archbishop's Palace
  • Roman fortification
  • Cava de Viriato, defensive structure dating from the Roman Empire

Expert's recommendation

  • Enotourism
The Parador has a winery which produces its own wine from the Casa da Ínsua estate and the Dão Designation of Origin. The Dão River lends its name to this wine-producing region, the second to be demarcated in Portugal (1908). However, these wines had already been noted for their excellence since the kingdom was established in the 12th century, with the clergy, especially Cistercian monks, promoting grape-growing. Planted in schist and granite soil, the vineyards of the Dão are scattered throughout this mountainous region, with the Buçaco, Caramulo, Montemuro and Estrela mountains protecting them from the Atlantic winds.
  • Museum
The Parador Casa da Ínsua Museum is made up of different areas located in other Casa buildings and structures on the perimeter of the property, all of which were formerly used for production. Embark on a truly innovative journey of discovery. The museum-like presentation allows visitors to engage with spaces that have been restored according to rigorous standards, as well as unique documents associated with the history of the Casa and its owners. Tour the life and history of the founders of Casa da Ínsua, learn how to Brazil was organized during this period, visit an old ice factory, there is much to explore and discover.
  • Serra da Estela Cheese Factory
Learn all about cheese-making techniques at the very factory where Finca Casa da Ínsua creates its delicious cheeses, share in the process and finally, sample them. A fantastic experience. Ask about our organized activities.
  • Casa da Ínsua Gardens
In addition to the importance of its architecture and legacy, the Parador Casa da Ínsua is also known for its magnificent 19th-century gardens, which have long welcomed visitors from around the world. Recreating the atmosphere of the Romantic period, the Casa da Ínsua gardens are noted for their size, as well as the originality and variety of the species they hold. The garden in front of the house, designed in the French style, has a geometric layout and parterres surrounded by boxwood which lead to the English garden and the scent garden, where you will find the most remarkable plant species. Specimens include an extremely rare lotus flower and a historic magnolia dating from 1842.