Bruçó is a small village the eastern “Trás-os-Montes” region of northern Portugal with a strong tradition of cultivating olives, grapes and chestnuts. It belongs to the county of Mogadouro, which has a total population of 19000 inhabitants and is located approximately at N 41º 13,000’ W006º 40,000’ within the Parque Natural do Douro Internacional that marks the border between Spain and Portugal.
Bruçó itself has 274 registered inhabitants with the majority of the native Bruçonians having moved out to the larger city centres. This is a common plight of all small villages in Portugal and desertification is ever increasing as the young people seek the excitement and higher tech. job opportunities the larger urban centres have to offer.
The origin of the name “BRUÇÓ”
Legend goes that on a trip from Spain, the King D. Dinis and his wife, Isabella of Aragon, and son, passed through Bruçó to rest from their weary travels. They stopped next to a fountain (today’s Fonte Velha). However, it was difficult for them to drink as the water as they had no cups and the water bubbled with some intensity. The young son also could not drink, upon which the king said to the queen “lean forward, lean forward!” (note: de Bruços indicates a position whereby you lean forward and prop yourself on your forearms; the translation to English does not work and hence the original version in Portuguese is added. Sorry!). And hence, the queen and child drank and quenched their thirst. The king then proclaimed that henceforth, this land, where they quenched their thirst, would be called Bruços. Through time, the “s” fell away and it has been known as “BRUÇÓ”.
(PT) Lenda da origem do seu nome
"Vindos de Espanha, El-Rei D.Dinis e sua mulher, D. Isabel de Aragão, mais tarde Rainha Santa, a do milagre das rosas, passaram por Bruçó e ali descansaram da jornada. Vinham cheios de sede e repousaram junto de uma fonte, de água muito fresca e saborosa - a hoje conhecida por Fonte Velha. Era-lhes, porem, difícil de beber, pois não eram portadores de copos e a água borbulhava com força. Traziam com eles um filho ainda criança que estava também morto de sede. Então El-Rei disse para a Rainha Santa:
- Isabel, de bruços, de bruços!...
Então a rainha pôs o filho de bruços e, de bruços, a criança bebeu. Beberam, também de bruços, o Rei e a Rainha. Finalmente D. Dinis disse:
-Daqui em diante, esta terra, onde bebemos de bruços água tão boa e fresca, será chamada de Bruços.
E, segundo a lenda, foi assim através dos tempos, esta aldeia ficou a ser designada por BRUÇÓ."
Places of interest near the cache site:
- Village of Bruçó (N41º 14.483’ W006º 40.673’).
- View of the majestic cliffs cut by the Douro River; follow road starting at N41º 14.486’ W006º 40.564’; road has been fixed a short while ago and road leading to the river is paved with small granite blocks.
- Chapel of Stª Barbara (from here you can see 7 of these small chapels; N41º 14.886’ W006º 42.459’)
- Trig. Beacon Gajope; lookout point, N41º 16.242’ W006º 41.990’.
- Mogadouro; 14 km N of Bruçó.
- Miranda do Douro.
- Aldiadávila de Lá Ribera (Spain; N41º 13.156’ W006º 37.017’ )