Vilarinho da Furna: entering a Portuguese “Ghost Town”

Vilarinho da Furna, also called Vilarinho das Furnas, is a Portuguese “ghost town” full of history and stories. And water… Where today flows the Albufeira de Vilarinho das Furnas once existed one of the most charming villages of the Gerês National Park.

The drowned town gave its name to the immense reservoir, fed by the River Homem, located in São João do Campo,townof Terras de Bouro. On summer days, when the water level drops, it is still possible to contemplate windows and doors mysteriously rising, marks of the history that began more than 40 years ago.

In 1967 the construction of a dam that would flood areas around the River Homem, and provide hydroelectricity energy to the region. Despite some protests, a Portuguese Electricity Company convinced residents to leave their homes, as the dam would completely submerge the small village of 300 people. One year later, the town was submerged, plunging more than 2,000 years of history into the water.

Today, it is still possible to learn a little more about Vilarinho da Furna in the museum dedicated to this Portuguese “Atlantis” – built nearby São João do Campo – and in other commemoration efforts that have taken place since the town was flooded 40 years ago.

Vilarinho da Furna: entering a Portuguese “Ghost Town”