Located in the north of Portugal, Chaves is a city with a long history. Its origins date back to Roman times when it was known as a spa. Today it is a lively market town with still a good spa, a nice historic centre and very good smoked hams, known as presuntos. The town has always had great historical importance, being the site of an important Roman garrison and later being in the forefront of resistance during the Napoleonic invasions of the early nineteenth century. In Portuguese military history Chaves is especially famous for two battles: the siege of Chaves by French forces in 1807 and the Royalist attack on Chaves led by Henrique Paiva Couceiro in 1912.


Sights include the Chaves castle which overlooks the town. There is a small military museum in the Keep of the castle.

The Misericordia church is a good example of Portuguese Baroque.

The hot water springs are close to the center. Water here is pretty hot. at 73C (163 F).

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