Jardins da Quinta da Aveleda
UNESCO World Heritage Designation :
Type of Historical Garden:
150 year-old romantic park
Rua da Aveleda, 2 4460-570 Penafiel
Google Maps Coordinates:
Access from the provincial capital :
30 minutes drive from Porto, through A4 highway.
Access from the nearest place to the site :
3 minutes from Penafiel city centre.
Visitors’ Reception Centre
Activities for the general public
Parking for private vehicles
Parking for buses
Access for people with disabilities or reduced
Image credits: “Aveleda S.A.”
Desd Qta Aveleda
Natural environment of the garden
The park is within the Aveleda Estate, with more than 150 hectares, on the left bank of river Sousa, most of which planted with vines. With dominant granitic soil and abundant water sources, the vegetation is lush and intense, with large collection of species, including a wide variety of camellias and azaleas. The park has 5 hectares.
Historical background of the garden
The Guedes family has been in this estate for over 300 years. The park and gardens as we know them started to be constructed in 1870 by Manuel Pedro Guedes (1837-1899). Since then, five generations of the family keep adding new features as time goes by. There is evidence of the existence of the property since the 16th century. The chapel next to the manor house dates from 1671.
Manuel was an entrepreneur who started the plantation of the vineyards and the winery at the same time as the park and gardens. He was an innovator in agriculture and used his own property to implement his new ideas about modern wine planting as well as wine making leaving a legacy of buildings next to the house. His son Fernando (d. 1946) continued his father’s ideas and rebuilt the house in 1908 as we know it today, next to the old chapel. His children created a very successful commercial society for the management of the property and started exporting their wines internationally becoming a reference in wine business in Portugal.
In Aveleda, wine culture and love for parks and gardens evolve together through generations. The gardens surrounding the house and the park are carefully maintained inhabited by centennial trees that shade unique collections of camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons, among others, that offer a unique spectacle of flowers all year round.
Description of the Garden
The park is surrounded by a three meter high granite wall. Today the facilities to welcome the visitors on the east entrance are used as the main entrance. This entrance leads to the park and to the manor house. However the main entrance stays south of the house. A splendid gate leads to a wide avenue lined with tres with side avenues and paths for the visitors to see the woods and find the centenial trees such as oaks, eucaliptus, crypromeria, tulips trees, plane trees, pine trees …. They create a unique, lush and fresh ecossystem, reach unusual hights and provide memorable moments of light and shade.
The different gardens and parts of the park have a different story to tell. There are several constructions – called Follies – that represent inspirations form the past generations. With fountains, walls, gates, bridges, each of them is unique in its kind. The three-floor goat tower is the most photographed by people from around the world.
The manor house offers many directions to visit the gardens and the park. To the left of the fountain of the Four Seasons (or the Four Sisters), overlooking the vineyards, one is invited to visit a garden with an imposing granite fountain at the end. To the left of the fountain, continuing to have the vineyards on sight, one enters the park and can go to the lake with the two islands and keep following the paths of the park.
1671 – Date of oldest known building in the Estate, a Chapel, at that time already belonging to the same family as today
1870 – Manuel Pedro Guedes gives up on a political career (as member of national parliament and mayor of Penafiel) to move to the Estate, focusing on developing a wine business
1899 – His son, Fernando takes over, buying his brother’s share of the property
1946 – Fernando dies, creating a company to be owned by his 7 sons and daughters, avoiding the splitting of the property. His son Roberto takes charge of managing the Estate in Penafiel.
1966 – With the death of Roberto, his son António takes over, shortly after being joined by his brothers Luís and Roberto
2013 – The 5th generation, led by António and Martim take over the leadership of the company
Brief description of the Interpretation Centre/Museum
At Quinta da Aveleda estate, each building is part of the history of the family and of the wine business. In 1870, the old cellar, that is still used today, was built and symbolized the vision of Manuel Pedro Guedes: «the future of this house will be the wine». When, 147 years later, was decided to create a new centre for visitors (namely a tasting room and a shop) the option has fallen on the upper side of the old cellar. In each wall of this recovered building, one chapter of our story is told. Besides, all the atmosphere of the old offices was recreated with the furniture and instruments used in the past. The idea was to promote the traditions (related to the agricultural activities) and the history of this place.