The S. Gonçalo de Amarante convent was founded in 1540 by D. João III, and the first stone was laid in 1543 (by Frei João de Ledesma), beginning the works in the areas of annexes and services, bedrooms, dining rooms and sacristy . Its construction will continue until the reign of Filipe I of Portugal, as is evident in the inscription of the majestic bases of the columns that frame the arch of the chancel and in the “Varanda dos Reis”, where the images of “ sponsors ”of the work: D. João III (1521-1557), D. Sebastião (1557-1578), Cardinal D. Henrique (1578-1580) and D. Filipe I (1580-1598). The portal has clear similarities with the portals of the Church of São Domingos, in Viana do Castelo. The geography of the site, the Tâmega river on one side, granitic rock on the other, caused great difficulties at the beginning of the work, and it was very costly to lay the foundations for the construction. The second cloister was built later, in the first six hundred decades. The dome, dome and windows were built by the master Domingos de Freitas from 1641.
An ancient Roman bridge is believed to have existed in this place, since this is the layout of the Roman road that would pass through Amarante, towards Guimarães and Braga.According to local tradition, around 1250 the blessed Gonçalo de Amarante will have built or rebuilt this bridge, with the resources from alms obtained by him in the region. On February 10, 1763, that bridge, where a cruise was built in May, collapsed due to an exceptional flood of the river. The cruise, or Senhor da Boa Passagem, managed to be removed an hour before this event and, later, was placed in the window of a corner of the Church of São Gonçalo, leaving the Mother of God to protect the traffic. It is the image of Senhora da Ponte.In 1782, the reconstruction of the bridge was initiated with the design of Carlos Amarante, and it was opened to traffic in 1790. In the year 1791, it was completed with two pairs of spiers, two ornaments in the shape of a ballot box and a bench on each balcony. In the context of the Peninsular War (1807-1814), during the Second French Invasion of Portugal, it was the stage, for 14 days in 1809, of the heroic defense of the Amarante Bridge, against the Napoleonic troops in retreat to Trás-os-Montes. It has been classified as a National Monument since 1910.