Castro do Monte Padrão/ Castro do Monte Córdova

Fortified Settlement - Bronze Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman Period e Middle Ages (792)
The Castro do Monte Padrão is located in the Monte Córdova parish, Santo Tirso county, Porto district, a few kilometres southwest of the parish centre. The place occupies a rocky spur from the Monte Córdova range, having an area of 17,000m2, located in the limit areas from the drainage basin of the rivers Ave and Leça. Its deployment reveals an enhanced position in the landscape, allowing control of the main circulation routes and providing good natural defensive conditions. It was possible to document a long occupation period, starting during the Middle Bronze Age and lasting until the second quarter of the 17th century. The first occupation, located in the northeast side of the settlement's upper platform, goes back to the Middle Bronze Age, with a debris moat being excavated, along with archaeological layers / strata containing ceramic dated generically from the Late Bronze Age. However, the presence of a significant number of fragments with excised decoration, similar to Boquique ceramics, which regional parallels suggest a time frame between the Middle and full Late Bronze Age, allows to propose the first settlement of the place during this period. In the immediate levels above the Late Bronze, mid 1st millennium AD, this settlement may have seen some development, becoming a, de facto, fortified settlement. The first rocky swellings are associated to this moment, as well as a structure which may be the first line of defense, located in the northeast side of the upper platform, associated to native ceramics. The apogee of Monte Padrão while a fortified settlement was verified in the 1st century AD, from which most of the identified structures were habitation dwellings in the Acropolis, along with the main defensive structures which were target of restoration and expansion during this period, as well as the bathhouse that was identified in the southeast side of the settlement. This bathhouse, identified in 2017, possesses an architectonic structure similar to the known discovered bathhouses in the Douro e Minho region, specifically the ones found in Citânia de Sanfins and Citânia de Briteiros. The supra-family that inhabited the settlement is unknown, but what it is known is that it would integrate a vast territory defined by the Agrela range to the west, the Rio Ave to the north and Rio Leça to the south, then controlled by the gentillic unit of the Fiduenae, which had a nucleus on Citânia de Sanfins in Paços de Ferreira (Moreira, 2004). Between the first half of the 2nd century and mid-3rd century AD there is a profound urban restructuring in Monte Padrão, with the complete destruction of the reinforced structures and a set of buildings with complex blueprints and multiple functionality in the upper platform. The native settlement, structured in artificial platforms, was created by two lines of walls and organized in family cores with the associated circular households, is home to a set of structures with complex blueprints. From this period, four domus were intervened, located in the upper platform of the settlement. The decline of Monte Padrão is witness mid-3rd century onwards. We will find Monte Padrão resettled during the medieval times, between the 10th and mid-17th century. A medieval necropolis was identified and excavated, composed by several types of sepulchres, namely sarcophagi, single lid and box (coffin?) graves, located around the parish church.


Musealized archaeological site associated with the Monte Padrão Interpretative Center.

Visit conditions

Free entrance associated with a museological structure


Opening hours : April to September From Tuesdays to Fridays 9h00 - 17h30 Saturdays and Sundays 14h00 - 19h00 Close on Mondays and National Holidays October to March From Mondays to Fridays 9h00 - 17h30 Close on National Holidays



    How to get there? Best practices

    Best practices

    Good practices when visiting archaeological sites

    To visit an archaeological site is to connect with our origins, to understand our path and evolution as a species integrated in the environment, and to respect and safeguard our heritage so that future generations can also visit and enjoy it.

    Walking the paths and enjoying the structures and archaeological pieces that survived over time, fosters the understanding of what is different, but also of what is common among different populations: basically, what identifies us as Homo Sapiens.

    More than just vestiges and ruins of the past, archaeological sites showcase our capacity for creative thought, adaptation, interconnection, comprehension and resilience. Without these traits we would not have been successful as cultural beings participating in an ongoing evolutionary process. These sites also allow to consider choices made in the past thus contributing for decisions in the present to be made with greater awareness and knowledge.

    Archaeological sites are unique and irreplaceable. These sites are fragile resources vulnerable to changes driven by human development. The information they keep, if destroyed, can never be recovered again.

    As such, the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) invites all visitors to enjoy the beauty and authenticity of these sites, while helping to preserve them for future generations by adopting the following set of good practices:

    • Respect all signs; 
    • Do not try to access fenced areas; 
    • Do not climb, sit or walk on archaeological structures and remains; 
    • Respect areas where archaeological excavations are being carried out, not disturbing them; 
    • Do not collect materials or sediments;
    • Do not write or make graffiti on archaeological structures; 
    • Put the garbage in appropriate containers. If none exist, take the garbage with you until you find a suitable container; 
    • Leave the archaeological site as you found it; 
    • Do not drive bicycles or motor vehicles over archaeological sites; 
    • Respect and protect the plants and animals that live in the areas surrounding archaeological sites;
    • Report signs of vandalism or destruction to DGPC or Regional Directorates of Culture (DRC);
    • Share the visiting experience and the archaeological sites, as a way of raising awareness to their preservation and making them better known;
    • Do not buy archaeological materials and report to public security authorities, DGPC or DRC, if you suspect that archaeological materials may be for sale.

    Further information:

    AIA / ATTA (2013) – Guide to best practices for archaeological tourism. 

    Raposo, J. (2016) – Código de conduta para uma visita responsável a sítios arqueológicos. In Sítios arqueológicos portugueses revisitados: 500 arqueossítios ou conjuntos em condições de fruição pública responsável. Al-madan, 2ª série, p. 20 – 77. 

    DGPC contacts

    Phone: +351213614200 | Email:


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