In the year 1780, in the reign of King José I, D. Julião Pereira de Castro, chief ice-maker of the Royal Household, ordered the construction of 7 pits for storing and compacting snow, at the top of the Lousã Mountains, at 1100 meters above sea level, and right beside Trevim (the highest point in the mountains).
In order to make gathering and collecting snow easier, small ponds were dug, where the snow would deposit and eventually turn into ice.
This task was done by the people of the nearby settlements of Coentral, Povorais and Pena, who were hired by the day.
The ice collected in winter was sold in the summer months: it was cut into large blocks which were wrapped in straw and loaded onto ox carts. These would go through winding roads to Constância, where they would be transferred to boats that would take them to Terreiro do Paço, in Lisbon, where they would be sold to the Royal Household as well as to various cafés, including Martinho da Arcada (opened in 1778 under the name "Casa da Neve", lit. "Snow House"), which would turn them into delicious ice cream.
We wanted to honor this rich past, which is why we decided to name this house as a tribute to the ice makers, who worked at the pits for decades, and to all the mountain people who still find in Santo António da Neve a true place of communion and sharing.