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 Location: Chas d'egua, Nr Piodao, Serra da Estrela.  Grid Reference: 40.233˚ N, 7.816˚ W.


      Portuguese Cart-ruts:

This prominent set of cart-ruts ('Strada's Real') runs over the top of the Serra d' Estrela mountain range in the Bieras reigon of central Portugal.

Their presence in the same area as the Piodao spiral, alongside numerous prehistoric carvings and discoveries of stone phalli and axe-heads suggests that the area  may have had a special significance in the prehistoric past.

For further information on these cart-ruts, visit the nearby Piodao  museum or contact us directly here.


(Click here for map of the site)





   Portuguese Cart-ruts:

The Portuguese cart-ruts are sometimes called with 'Strada's real' or 'Royal roads', which are associated with the pilgrimage site at Santiago de Compostella.

These photo's are from the Piodao region, (This route was apparently still in use until the 20th century).

 This particular set of cart-ruts runs up and over the top of a mountain called 'vale d'egua', Nr. Piodao.   

These cart-ruts are found at an elevation of approx 800m and appear seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but it is possible to follow them in both directions for quite a distance, although they don't seem to appear again as well defined as in the particular location in the photos above.

There are a couple of good examples of 'junctions' at the top, which seems a natural enough place for paths to cross, but there doesn't appear to be allowance for vehicles to pass each other, which adds to the confusion as to their original purpose.


 The terrain at the top of the mountain is rugged enough to make the passing of any wheeled vehicle a difficulty, but it is bewildering to find that although there are sections with well defined ruts, there are also sections which have hardly any definition, and which remain seemingly un-used.


Alongside the ruts there are several examples of rock-art or 'arte-rupestre', including one of a cross on a ball, a classic example of the Christianisation of a previously 'pagan' site of ritual or worship. The frequency and symbolic nature of the engravings suggests that the site might have once been used for a ritual purpose, an idea which is increased by the discovery of a huge spiral in the valley below.

(More about the Chas D'egua spiral)





   Cart-ruts in the Azores:

The presence of cart-ruts on the Azores is one of the most unexpected facts to present itself in the search for the first settlers on the Azores. The Portuguese cart-ruts are pre-Christian, as are those on Malta. As we have no record of their being made since the 'official' discovery of the Azores, we must assume that these were made by a people prior to the Portuguese.

 Cart-ruts. Azores, Terceira.

Cart-ruts on Terceira, Azores.

(Photo Credits: Antonieta Costa, Antonio Ara�jo)

(More about the Azores)



Portuguese Cart-ruts: Gallery of images.

portuguese catrt-ruts (ancient-wisdom.com) portuguese cart-ruts (ancient-wisdom.com)

Cart-ruts near Piodao.


Cart-ruts running into the sea on the Azores, similar to those seen on Malta.



(Cart-ruts Homepage)

(Maltese Cart-ruts)

(List of Prehistoric Portuguese sites)

(Portugal Homepage)


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