Idanha-a-Velha is a parish (freguesia) in the east of Portugal, in the
municipality of Idanha-a-Nova, and in the district Castelo Branco.
covers an area of 20.98 km² and had a population of 79 as of
The Cathedral of Idanha-a-Velha.
As one of the oldest towns in Portugal, with a history of Roman
settlement recorded since the year 16 AD,
Idanha-a-Velha has been described as a "modest village with a rich
historical background". Idanha-a-Velha is built on the site of the
city of Egitânia, which previously had thousands of inhabitants.
was repeatedly invaded and looted throughout history, and the ruins
evince the influence of different periods of its history: buildings
from the Pre-History, Celtic, Roman
Classicism, Visigothic, Arabic, Middle Ages and Portuguese Manueline periods.
The town is reputed to have been the birthplace of the famous
, as well as the fourth century Saint Pope Damasus
is host to a restored 16th century church, called "the Cathedral", built on
ruins dating from the time of the Suebi, as
far back as to the fourth century — the first Visigothic cathedral
built on the Iberian
inside of the cathedral holds the largest collection of Roman
in Europe, refurbished as a
modern museum to contain the carved and inscribed Roman
There is also a 17th century pillory
village square. Nearby stand the ruins of a Torre dos
, a tower constructed on the ruins of a Roman temple
dedicated to Venus