Gois property
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The region of Gois, central Portugal
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Barreiro
Bolsas
Cabril
Campêlo
Caracol
Carapinhal
Carvalhais
Casal da Ribeira
Cerejal
Chão dos Santos
Chapinheira
Covas do Barro
Cruzinhas
Farroiba
Fonte de Soito
Formiga
Inviando
Juncal
Linteiro
Lomba
Mata
Monteira
Murtinheira
Oliveirinha
Passô
Picarotos
Rojão
Sacões de Baixo
Sacões de Cima
Santo Velho
Telhada
Terras
Tôpa
Val de Egas
Vale de Oleiros
Várzea Grande
Várzea Pequena

Fonte do Soito
 
 

Fonte do Soito  
 


  
 

Fonte do Soito

 


‘Fonte do Soito’ means ‘spring of the chestnut grove’ and just out of sight from the road, a little down towards the Ceira, you can still see the old spring that gave the name to the village. The village today is continuous with the villages of Caracol and Varzea Grande, and the houses follow the main road  that runs from Góis towards Vila Nova de Poiares, just above the river Ceira.  In the centre of the village, by the turning up to Varzea Grande, there is a level grassed area where several trees grow - in the past this area was the graveyard.

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On the street is a large attractive building with big doors that was once an “armazém de vinho” (wine-store). The house was the ‘Casa de Comércio’ (trading centre) of the village. The wine was bought in the region of the Dão, near Viseu, then distributed by oxcart through the concelho of Góis as far as  Alvares. The dregs of the huge wine tanks were sold to the local taverns at a cheaper price. As the opening of the wine tanks were very small, it was the job of the  young boys to clean the tanks, and when they emerged they would be intoxicated just from the fumes. The armazém de vinho was also a social place where people used to gather in the afternoon, eat a little, drink some wine, talk and play cards. The villagers used to say when they went there “we are off to the watering-hole!” The present occupant of the armazém de vinho kindly showed us around the building. He himself is quite a specialist in liqueur-making, using pineapples, mandarins, strawberry tree fruits, cherries, and pears amongst his ingredients, and he generously let us sample one or two. He showed us a bottle, now 30 years old, that he made as a boy: in it was a huge pear in liqueur that had grown inside the bottle.

Behind an iron gate at the roadside is a large building that many years ago housed a company that produced blankets and carpets, and below this was a private lagar (olive-press). The  owner of these buildings is still remembered in the locality even though he lived around 100 years ago, the reason being that he is reputed to have fathered 62 children! Apparently he provided for all his children and made sure that all their mothers had a house to live in, so  presumably his business was successful.

 
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  Updated 7 November, 2008
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