The history of Trancoso dates back to the arrival of the fleet of Pedro Álvares Cabral on April 22, 1500, right at the mouth of the Rio dos Frades. At that moment, the new land was taken over for the king of Portugal. The native population of Trancoso is descended from the first inhabitants who settled and founded the Jesuit village, formerly called São João Batista dos Índios, which was founded in 1586. Most of the time since then, Trancoso was an unknown point on a map, living only on fishing and some plantations around the village, until finally discovered by hippies in the 1970s.
At that time, Trancoso was just a cluster of houses surrounding a large lawn, called "Quadrado" (Square) by the local population, having in the background a church framing a beautiful landscape, with a panoramic view of the sea. The “Quadrado”, today called São João Square, is now the Historical Center of Trancoso, where houses from the time of colonization can be visited, with their administrative buildings being disabled, although mostly still well preserved.
The “Quadrado” is still the main square of the village, with the same colorful houses framing the lawn, and the white church in the background as the heart of the village, being the center of attention: the place where all good things happen. There you can read in the architecture the whole history of Trancoso as if it was written in a time that has not passed.
Most of the simple houses were turned into shops, where you will find bars, restaurants, craft shops and boutique hotels and inns, as well as some famous designer boutiques, also attracted by local tourism.