Ansião is the central nucleus of the municipality of the same name, located in the district of Leiria, in the central region of the country. It is a place of passage in stage 8 of the Portuguese Way, on the way to Alvorge (parish belonging to Ansião).
The first known references to Ansião date back to the 12th century. However, it will be at the beginning of the Modern Age when the territory reaches the rank of town and obtains privileges. This area, together with Alvorge, Torre de Vale de Todos and Lagarteira, constituted the frontier line between Christian and Muslim territory during the 12th and 13th centuries.
What to see and do in Ansião
Ponte da Cal
It is a bridge dating from the 17th century, which is part of the road that linked the centre of the town with Coimbra, reminiscent of the Royal Road used by Rainha Santa Isabel.
Rainha Santa Tile Panel
This beautiful set of tiles was made by Virgílio Rodrigues Valente in 1937. The composition represents the at a time when the Rainha Santa used to pass by the road that crossed the village and always gave money to an old man well known in the area.. Thanks to this fact the city took the name of “Ancião”, deriving over the years to “Ancião”.Anxiety”.
St. Martinho de Ateanha Chapel
This small chapel is situated on the top of a hill. It was formerly the main church of St. Martinho de Ateanha. The temple consists of a single nave and has three altars. The main altar houses the image of the Child Jesus. Flanking this image are the figures of Saint Joseph and Saint Martinho. The latter is made of limestone and dates back to the end of the Middle Ages, showing traces of primitive polychromy. Near the church you can also see a pulpit with a balustrade made of stonework and a baptismal font.
Located on the outskirts of Ansião, it dates back to 1623. According to tradition, the purpose of its construction was to welcome and care for the pilgrims who came to the chapel to thank the Lady of Peace for the benefits she had received along the route. Throughout the church you can see well-preserved wall paintings depicting scenes from Genesis: Adam and Eve, Eve taking the apple from the tree and Adam and Eve next to the tree of life and God.
It is a monument erected in 1686, in homage to Don Luís de Meneses, Third Count of Ericeira and mayor of the town. The purpose of its construction was to thank him for his fight in the battle of Ameixial, as well as for his work during 18 years, for which he received numerous awards and recognitions. It was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1980.