Almost 1000 years of joy  

The history of Luso begins before the foundation of Portugal, in fact in the oldest document the there is knowledge of, from 1064, locates the Monastery of Vaccariça (the main land lord if this region at the time) as being half league west of Luso. The nomenclature of the name used at the time was “Lusum” that is a declination of the Latin verve “Ludos” and it means place of ludic activities or… place of joy. It is interesting as almost 1000 years later this is still true.

It is an historical conclusion that people locate things relatively to well known landmarks, like mountains or springs like it is the case of the abundant water spring that exists in Luso. The lack of ruins from those times in the town of Luso, despite the several constructions and land excavating over the years, tells us that in those times, Luso didn’t exist as a town but only as a place where was some type of church or chapel and where people did pilgrimage and (maybe) bath and have leisure times in the hot water spring.
Therefore, it is common conclusion that the word “Luso” as in “Portuguese” (that has its origin in “Lusitânia” and “Luso” son of the wine roman god “Baccus”), has nothing to do with “our” “Luso” – "a place of joy".
Times seemed to go dark during the middle age, since there isn’t any information available until the XVII century census, when Luso is already described as a town with a church and habitants. At that time, the main activity for the population was to work at water mills that used the power of the spring to turn grains to flower.

In early XIX notices about the healing power of Luso water made the click to start the Thermal business that still exists today.



Apart from the hot spring of the thermal complex there is the ex-libris of the town, its abundant public spring. The spring of S. João Evangelista (Saint John Evangelist), built on uncertain date, was always the centre of Luso, due to the abundance and excellence of the existing water, especially in the summer months. At the time, without the existence of the water fountain, the population used to fill in water-pots by drowning them on the watering-pond, through stairs visible at the right side of chapel named after Saint John the Evangelist.


washerwomen , water-carriers, along with Burriqueiros (locals that used to tour the wood visitors in donkeys. Following that, this expression started to designate any person from Luso), gave life and colour to the place.



In the 20’s decade of the XX century, several improvements were made in the existing facility, the water-pond was expanded and eleven dropping tubes were set to easier the filling of the water-pods. Some say that the number eleven is due to the fact that the word Evangelista has eleven letters.

Near the main spring, several small reservoirs were built to collect the rain water in order to supply agricultural fields and water mills.

In 1955, by request of the municipality of Melhada and for public hygiene issue, the spring was covered by a glass structure, which kept the impurities out and also allowed the water visualisation coming to light. A public water supply system was then built, and it is still used today.
  In 1986, due to the large amount of water from granite origin, the spring had severe terrain impermeability problems. This fact forced a new project that has allowed the spring complex to remain the heart and soul of the town.
Of discussable esthetical taste, a new refurbishing work by Architect Sidónio Pardal was made in 2009, to try to include the fountain space in the new look assumed by the main Avenue of Luso. Nevertheless, the spring keeps on doing it’s abundant job, supplying water to Luso and the region and being always the centre of the village, no mater what man try to make it look like