The inspiration written in the landscape
This infrastructure develops over metasedimentary rocks, virtually vertical, as they were protective walls of Freita Mountain. Here, it is possible to observe the abrupt northern side of Freita Mountain and the fertile Arda valley (where the Arouca town is settled). The northern slope of this mountain preserves different levels of erosion, which prove the displacement of the blocks responsible for the rise of this mountain. The Arouca valley (geomorphologically known as Arouca complex alveolus) is settled over a quartzite rock, very prone to chemical weathering and result of the accumulation of sediments, caused by the retention occurred in the region of Pedra Má (a corneal rock, located at the edges of Rossas and Várzea parishes).
The incision of the Arda river at the end of Cenozoic, as well as the formation of the fertile soils that we know today, was crucial for the implantation of the Arouca Monastery, in the 10th century, as well as for the development of this region. A watchful eye over this landscape allows us to identify the contact region between the metasediments before the Ordovician and the quartzdiorite of Arouca, allowing to do some geological mapping at a distance. But, to the north, you can also easily find the Gamarão mountains, the Paiva valley, the Montemuro Mountain, the Douro valley’s mortise, the mountains of the Valongo region, and the Marão, Larouco and Gerês Mountains. As you turn your head you’ll see, to the west, the coastal region between Espinho and Oporto and, to the East, the Côto do Boi and the Arada Mountain, where you can frequently see São Macário. But it is better for you to see everything yourself.