Viseu is a city and municipality in the Centro Region of Portugal and the capital of the district of the same name, with a population of 99,274 inhabitants. This makes it about the same size as Crawley in Sussex. It just happens to be a lot nicer than Crawley in my humble opinion.
Viseu is located half way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Spanish border, 130km south east of Porto. It is a busy provincial city with a lively cobbled centre full of artistic treasures, historical churches and a strong culture of local crafts, and is surrounded by rich agricultural land and pastures of grazing sheep, the area is also renowned for its fine cheeses. If you like architecture then you will enjoy the Baroque and Neoclassical buildings and churches, with lovely old houses just beyond the main central streets decorated colourfully and an impressive tiled wall alongside the central taxi rank of Viseu?s historic centre. It has been voted the best city to live in by the Portuguese.
Viseu was the birthplace of one of the greatest Portuguese painters of the sixteenth century, Vasco Fernandes, who today lends his name to a museum that houses most of his paintings, a school, and even a wine label. Viseu and the region are famous for their D?o Wine and the D?o Wine Institute can be found in the city. The fertile winegrowing area of D?o has records dating back to the 12th Century and is renowned for the excellence of wine it produces.
Pousadas de Portugal is a chain of luxury, traditional or historical hotels in Portugal. Formerly run by the Portuguese State, they are now run by the Pestana Group on a 40-year running concession. So they are pretty much the same in concept to the Paradores of Spain
The Pousadas were envisioned and created in the early 1940s by Ant?nio Ferro, head of the National Propaganda Secretariat and also a poet and playwright, who had the idea of creating hotels that were both rustic and genuinely Portuguese. His first Pousada was built in Elvas, in the Alentejo, which would be the first of what Ferro called "small hotels that look nothing like hotels". This Pousada is no longer active. There are now 44 Pousadas installed in historic buildings.
The Portuguese word pousada means "hostel" or "inn". In Portugal, the use of the word is registered as a trademark and reserved for the use of the Pousadas de Portugal and also of the Pousadas de Juventude (Portuguese state-run youth hostel chain associated to the Hostelling International). A similar small charming, nature or historical hotel in Portugal that is not part of the Pousadas de Portugal chain is classified as estalagem, a word which also means "hostel" or "inn".