O Vale dos Amores: a aldeia das ‘raparigas bonitas’ em Portugal

créditos: andarilho.pt

O Vale dos Amores é um antigo povoado entre Meimão e Meimoa, freguesias portuguesas do Concelho de Penamacor, que ficam próximos da estrada principal, bem escondido no meio de um vale. E foi justamente este isolamento, que protegeu os dois núcleos de casas de xisto existentes por lá abandonados há cerca de meio século. 

Muitas habitações no Vale dos Amores continuam de pé. Quase todos os casarios têm uma única porta e uma abertura na parede para entrar um pouco de luz. É através da luz natural que torna-se possível ver alguns objetos deixados pelos últimos moradores. O local tem muitas árvores e, devido à abundância de água, algumas habitações criam um bonito efeito decorativo.

É possível ver como tudo estava organizado: o interior de cada habitação, a rotina familiar e o modo de vida dos seus habitantes. O senhor Honorato Neves, considerado o guardião da cultura local, é o responsável pelo núcleo museológico da Meimoa, e recolheu há alguns anos os testemunhos de três mulheres que nasceram e viveram durante muitos anos no Vale dos Amores. “Elas contaram-me onde cozinhavam e onde dormiam”, revelou o guardião. 

O povoado teve origem há quase um século, com três irmãos. Diz-se que por volta de 1928 os donos da quinta contrataram pastores, muitos deles da Meimoa, e passaram a explorar a quinta. Quem estava lá teve que sair e arranjar uma casa para a família. Foi o que fizeram esses três irmãos, que compraram o Vale dos Amores e dividiram a quinta em três partes e, depois, o povoado foi aumentando com o crescimento do número de pessoas e de mais casais, ao longo do tempo, o povoado tinha cerca de 20 famílias. Conta o senhor Honorato, responsável pela promoção do Vale dos Amores.

 

créditos: andarilho.pt

Reza a lenda que o seu nome de origem deve-se ao grande número de “raparigas bonitas”: “Há quem diga que entre 1930 e 35, o Dr. Mário Bento, o homem do museu da Meimoa, ouviu falar que a quinta tinha muita rapariga nova. Um dia fez uma caminhada e foi lá. Quando viu aquele vale cheio de fruta, cultura de batata, feijão, muita água e quando viu também aquela juventude toda, o Dr. Mário teve a expressão “Que lindo vale de amores!” Daí para a frente ficou com esse nome”, explica. 

Ficou o nome de Vale dos Amores, mas a vida difícil já não encantava os mais novos. Emigraram e os mais idosos ficaram até o fim. Entre a densa vegetação dos dias de hoje, é possível ver as construções rudimentares, e o universo isolado da comunidade em meio às pedras de xisto que restaram. Um passeio e tanto! 

créditos: andarilho.pt
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