Resende is believed to take its name from the Christian knight "Rausendo", who conquered the town and then repopulated it in the eleventh century.
This is the region in which D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was brought up by his tutor D. Egas Moniz. The prince, who was born with an incurable disease, miraculously recovered at the age of 4, after D. Egas Moniz had taken him to a place where he found an image of the Virgin Mary, in accordance with certain instructions that he had been given in a vision.
He later ordered a church to be built at this place, which was known as Cárquere. The church was altered in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but there is still a small ivory figure of the Virgin Mary to be seen here.
Standing on the slopes of the Serra do Montemuro, and close to the reservoir formed by the Carrapatelo dam, Resende offers visitors some extremely beautiful panoramic views over the River Douro.
In the surrounding area is the spa of Caldas de Aregos, whose waters are said to have excellent healing properties.