The Natural Park of the North Coast has an area of 440 hectares and extends along 18 km from the estuary of the River Cávado in Braga and the town of Apulia. It is one of the principle areas to swim on the north coast of Portugal with empty beaches with clear waters and light sand dunes scattered with greenery. It is a protected area in the country.
It is a beautiful place. Portugal is a place you should discover from end to end ... Esposende is a quiet beach town. The water is is a little cold but that isn't so important when the site is cool ... I recommend it.
This monument was made in December of 1997 and placed in the center of Largo Rodrigues Sampaio, facing the waterfront. It has 5 large-size sculptures, made of bronze and placed on the pavement. They symbolize the efforts of local people fishing. This monument honors Esposende sailors and all those whose livelihoods depend on the sea (fishermen, boat builders ...).
2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity, and during the summer the Esposende boardwalk had an exposure this subject. Basically there were panels with texts and pictures of different natural environments (beaches, forests, rivers, etc.) and animals that inhabit them. It was a free outdoor exhibition.
This building, situated on the waterfront in the estuary of Cávado, was recently recovered by the Forum Esposendense, a public utility institution created in the year 1989 to promote the study of social, economic and cultural aspects of the municipality. The establishment has many activities: museum (exhibitions), auditorium, library maritime headquarters Forum and drafting of a local magazine. It also still provides maritime rescue services (which was actually its original function).
What most caught my attention about this place is that this marina is located on the river: it is situated at the estuary of the river Cávado. Here you can see small boats in the harbour and take part in recreational sports, although there is also the possibility of going fishing. It is a very windy place but there are no waves, so it is very common for people to go kitesurfing. It is a newly renovated waterfront with cafes and terraces, public swimming pools, and the Esposende maritime center.
The Municipal Library is situated in the Casa do Arco, a building formed in a 17th century house with 2 small terraced buildings of XVI, linked together through an arc. It was named after the Portuguese writer Manuel Boaventura. Here you can refer to the archive about the history and traditions of the council.There is a reading room, as well as a small auditorium, exhibition hall, and computer room with internet access. It also has a service of "beach libraries" operational during the summer on the beaches of Ofir, Lanterns, Apulia, Suave Mar and Cepães.
The Municipal Forum Rodrigues Sampaio is just behind the Library and was opened in 2009 after the complicated task of retrieving a building dating from the eighteenth century where the agriculture guild was based. Now this Forum aims to be a meeting point between the municipality's governing politicians and their constituents - to maintain contact with the public. Municipal assemblies and some cultural events take place here, there's also an auditorium with capacity for 40 people.
The Chapel San Juan is situated behind the boardwalk of Esposende, although formerly the Cávado river came up to here. It was constructed in the 2nd half of the 18th century, with a simple outside made in the baroque style. It is a small rectangular chapel and a single nave. Inside, the walls are covered with a tiled plinth, and there is a Baroque altarpiece. In front of the chapel is a cruise of granite, dating back to the year 1690, according to the inscription on its bottom.
This statue, situated in Largo D. Sebastiao, was made of cast by the sculptor Lagoa Henriques. It is meant to pay homage to the King D. Sebastian, who on 19 August of 1572 granted a royal charter to Esposende, giving him the status of town and making it the autonomous municipality of Barcelos. It was erected to celebrate the 4th anniversary of this event.
The Natural Park of the North Coast of Portugal is a protected area that extends from the mouth of the river Cávado in Braga to Apulia, or about one ten iocho kilomentros. In the stretch of beach that lies between Esposende and Ofir, we found some small protected dunes with fences and sandbags. These were so that the sea didn't swallow the incredible momentum.
The Chapel of Ntrs. Lord of the Merchants (Capela do Senhor dos Merchants) is located to the side of the Gospel of Mercy Church in the Town Square. The decoration is truly a wonder and is declared Property of Public Interest by IPPAR. The chapel was built in the sixteenth century. Its Mannerist style highlights the ornate gold and white carvings. Its walls are fully covered, with a flight of tiles at the bottom oil paintings depicting episodes from the Passion of Christ just on top. There are the images of the crucified Christ, the Virgin and St. John on the altar. There is a vaulted ceiling decorated with polychrome reliefs representing the Apostles.
This square is just behind the main church Esposende. An Archbishop called Frei Bartolomeu dos Martires in 1560 ecclesiastically separated from Esposende Marinhas. The most remarkable feature of this square is a fountain (or chafariz) surrounded by a small garden. It was built in the eighteenth century, is granite and is topped with a large vase on the top.
Foz do Cávado Pools are situated on the waterfront and have many facilities, making them much more than just a swimming pool. The building has three areas including two swimming pools for children and adults. One pool (open in summer)has salt water. The Health-Club has a wave pool, spa, jacuzzi, sauna, etc. They also do massages, wraps and other health and relaxation treatments. There is also a mall on the top floor of the building with several shops and a panoramic restaurant where you can see the Cávado River estuary. There are also sports and various recreational activities, swimming lessons, etc.
Praça do Municipio is in the heart of the city, at the end of the pedestrian shopping street December 1. It's a small square with atmosphere, there are pavement cafes and during the summer there are outdoor musical performances on Saturdays at 22h. The Town Hall (Pacos do Concelho) is in this square, the Church of Mercy and the monument to Antonio Correa de Oliveira.
Pacos do Concelho is in Town Hall Square and houses the municipal offices of the city, along with a new building added in the last decades on the corner of Rua 1 º Dezembro. It was built in the seventeenth century, although it's undergone several renovations over the years. The building is a simple with elegant lines, shots of stone on pillars and lintels of doors/windows. On the central balcony there's the city coat of arms and a small tower that houses a clock, finished in a campanile. It has 2 levels, the most notable being the portico with arcades on the lower floor, which connects Rua 1 º Dezembro with Plaza Fonseca Lima.
Mercy Church (Igreja da Misericordia) is in Praça do Municipio and is a Property of Public Interest. It was constructed in 1595, along with the adjacent House of Mercy, but the present appearance is the result of reconstruction in 1893. Outwardly it doesn't say much, what is truly extraordinary is the inside, especially the outstanding Chapel of Our. Sr of the Merchants. It's a temple with a unique longitudinal nave, chancel choir loft and preceding baroque triumphal arch, which houses a large oil on canvas depicting Our Lady of Mercy, framed by twisted columns. The inner perimeter is decorated with a tiled plinth and several side altars with religious carvings.