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Monday, 23 January 2017 14:36

Silver Coast Glamping luxury tent lodges

Super Luxurious lodges with swimming pool

Glamping or 'glamorous camping' is a way of celebrating the holidays in a very special accommodation. You are outside but also enjoying all the comfort that you can wish for. Our lodges have a double canvas fabric and wooden interior walls. You will find a complete kitchen, a bathroom with a comfy shower, good beds and a porch with wonderful views.

On the sloping land you will find next to the 3 lodges, a spacious swimming pool, a sandlot, a covered terrace with pick-nick tables and a large BBQ.

A perfect place if you want to enjoy your holidays in a different way!

Silver Coast Glamping will be AL-certified

Published in Welcoming Stays
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 11:18

Restaurante O Cabeço

Cosy restaurant high above Alcobaça.

Great location, cosy restaurant, friendly staff. And the food is amazing!
The restaurant is quite popular, so it's a good idea to book a table.

Published in Tip restaurants
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 11:11

Riu's restaurante

The restaurant is located on the first floor in a street in the centre of Alcobaca. The restaurant is beautifully decorated. They do not serve the standard bread with sardinepate and some olives, but some surprising dishes. Fish, meat, vegetarian, there is something for every taste, and it's all very good.

Published in Tip restaurants

In addition to all culture and beautiful beaches, Central Portugal appears to be a paradise for cyclists

Sister Marian and brother Frans explored this year the area by bike. Of course you need a bit of condition and the right equipment to do fine in this hilly area. As they  say: "A good decision because with a full breakfast there is enough energy to start the journey with confidence." They are experienced bikers, several times they cycled from the Netherlands to southern France, and Germany to Prague. Say, the sports branch of the family.

Published in Silver Coast Blog
Monday, 12 October 2015 14:15

Parque dos Monges

Parque dos Monges: for active monks (and everyone else)

Just outside Alcobaça is the Parque dos Monges (Monks Park). This is a very large park offering recreation, adventure and education.

There is an eco-aquarium “Mãe d’Água”, a convent farm, craft workshops, a themepark (where you can do some canoeing on the lake, mountainclimbing, archery, rope sliding), and much more.

www.parquedosmonges.com

Published in Nature and Culture
Sunday, 04 October 2015 11:49

Monastry Alcobaça

The history of the monastry, a lovestory

The Real Abadia (royal abbey) de Santa Maria is in many ways the heart of Alcobaça.

It all started when King Afons I promised to give some land to saint Bernard if he would succeed in conquering the city of Santarém from the Moors. He succeeded in 1147, and in 1178 the Cistercians started building the monastry, and finished it some 45 years later. Soon it became the most important cistercian monastry in Portugal. Both church and monastry are originally gothic buildings. Later new parts were added to the monastry in different styles, like the 2 baroque towers.

Originally the complex was much bigger, but the earthquake of 1755, and the occupation by the French early 19th century, destroyed large parts of the monastry. What remained however is still a large complex, partly open to the public. A visit is certainly worthwhile, you can see things like the cloisters, the lavatory, the impressive kitchen, the dormitory, etc.

A lovestory

In the church lie the remains of Pedro I and Inês de Castro, each in their own tomb. Their love story is the most famous story in Portugal.
Pedro, son of Afonso IV, was about to marry the galician Constança. She arrived at the Portuguese court together with her maid of honour Inês. Pedro and Inês fell totally in love with eachother. This worried Afonso IV so much he decided to send Inês back to Burgos. Pedro and Constança got married, but Pedro could not forget Inês.

When Constança died in 1345, Pedro and Inês reunited, and the secretly got married. Together they hd 4 children. Afonso IV however still could not accept their love, and ordered Inês to be killed in 1355: she was decapitated by hitmen. Pedro was furious and wanted revenche. After his accession to the throne in 1357 he immediately ordered the hitman, who fled to Galicia, to be extradicted. After they arrived in Santarém Pedro demanded them to be tortured until death, and put their bodies on display afterwards.

In 1361 Pedro ordered Inês' body to be balmed, dressed as a queen, and put her on a throne next to him at the cathedral. All members of the nobility and the assembly were forced to kiss her hand, and by that Inês was posthumously crowned. Then her royal body was brought to Alcobaça and placed in a sarcophagus. On Pedro's command his own sarcophagus was put opposite of Inês so that when they both rise on judgment day, the first thing they see will be each other.

Life in the monastry of Alcobaça

Enter...

www.mosteiroalcobaca.pt

Published in World Heritages
Sunday, 04 October 2015 10:59

Life in the monastry of Alcobaça

Monks founded monastry

The abbey dates back to 1153, the year in which King Afonso donated to Don Bernardo de Claraval large areas between Leiria and Óbidos. It was a wild and desolate area with plenty of water. It was located in a deep valley, 'where the sunrise was late and the sunset was early'.

Which made it an excellent place for monks, because this gave them plenty of time to pray and meditate. One of the 'rules' of the Order says that if there are (too) many monks in a monastry, 12 monks have to leave to found a new monastery elsewhere. So when monks from the monastery of Claraval (France) arrived in Alcobaça they found a deserted region, where only a few descendants of Portuguese Arabs lived.

The monks' work was not easy. They had to clear the land, fight the water, build dikes and divert rivers. The name Alcobaça is derived from the name of the 2 rivers that flow through the village: the Alcoa and the Baça.These rivers were very important to monastry life, and one of the rivers was diverted through the monastry so the monks had running water. On the side of the monastry you can still see the spot where the water was directed inwards.

Ingenious water system

The water system was, especially in that time, very ingenious. In the huge kitchen you can still see the huge basins where food was washed. By the way this is not the original kitchen: the kitchen, which is still there and is unique in its kind, was built later when many more monks joined the monastry. In the cloister you can see the door to the old kitchen. You can also see the old well in the center of the courtyard, and the fountain where the monks washed their hands before they had their meals.

A simple life

Deze vallei was des te meer een goede plek om een abdij te bouwen omdat het dichtbij de de Serra dos Candeeiros lag, waar goede steen voorhandig was. Maar eerst wachtte de monniken nog een zware taak. Om het klooster goede fundamenten te kunnen geven en te beschermen tegen overstromingen, moest de grond 12 meter verhoogd worden. Omdat de monniken gekozen hadden voor een leven van eenvoud, gebed en armoede werd de bouw van de abdij sober gehouden. Toch is de kerk nog gigantisch. De weinige versierselen die er zijn vonden hun oorsprong in de natuur. De pilaren zijn summier versierd met uit steen gehouwen afbeeldingen van o.a. palmbaderen, varens en manden, In de kerk zijn de beroemde graftombes van King Pedro en Inez de Castro. De hoofdrolspelers in het beroemde liefdesverhaal van Portugal. Dit verhaal is overal beschreven.

All the more this valley was a good place to build a monastery because it was close to the Serra dos Candeeiros, where good stone was available. But first the monks had to complete a daunting task. In order to give the monastery good fundaments and to protect it from floods, the ground level had to be raised by 12 meters. Because the monks had chosen a life of simplicity, poverty and prayer, the abbey was kept sober. Yet the church is still gigantic. The few decorations out there have their origin in nature. The pillars are meticulously decorated with carved stone palm leaves, ferns and baskets. In the church stand the famous tombs of King Pedro and Inez de Castro, main characters Portugal's most famous love story. You can read this story everywhere.

The monk and the egg

The monks were mainly involved in the exploitation of the land, and their spiritual development. They wrote and copied books and illustrated them. The room (The Scriptorium) where this took place is still visible. You can also visit the former dormitory (Dormitario). Hereyou can see very well the decoration of the pillars. They are all different.

Apart for the monks, there were also the so-called lay brothers. They worked on the land. And thanks to these people, the monasteries were so rich. They herded cattle, worked the land, sowed and reaped. In addition, the lands were leased to (poor) farmers. Often, the lease was paid with the harvest of the country and with eggs.

The story goes that in some monasteries there were so many eggs, the monks had to find a solution for the use of all the eggs. This was found in the making of pastries. Portugal is famous for its pastries. Every year in November a pastry festival is held at the monastry of Alcobaça. A better atmosphere and better cakes you can not imagine. But even if there is no festival, you can indulge yourself to pastries. Opposite the monastry you will find Pasteleria Alcoa, there you can taste all the cakes you want.

Published in World Heritages
Friday, 17 April 2015 15:49

The discovery of the Costa de Prata

A personal story

When we drove back to The Netherlands after our holidays in the Algarve in 2001, we were absolutely sure. We were not going to live in the Algarve, nor were we going to buy a house south of Lisbon.

We did not really like the landscape. Of course, the sea is marvellous, always and everywhere, but the countryside consists of huge plains, dry oliveyards and extensive pine forests. Beautiful, but not for us.

So we drove home and perhaps we might still have lived in Holland, but for the fact that some hundred kilometers north of Lisbon, we drove through a beautiful, green landscape.

Published in Miscellaneous
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 20:47

Alcobaça

Centuries-old and active town

In the 10th century a morish village was founded at the junction of the rivers Alcoa and Baça: Alcobaça. Alcobaça is a pleasant village, well known for the Monastery of Alcobaça (Real Abadia de Santa Maria de Alcobaça), one of the most magnificent gothic monuments in the country.

It all started when King Afons I promised to give some land to saint Bernard if he would succeed in conquering the city of Santarém from the Moors. He succeeded in 1147, and in 1178 the Cistercians started building the monastry, and finished it some 45 years later. Soon it became the most important cistercian monastry in Portugal. The complex is one of the first gothic constructions in Portugal. It is partly open to the public.
In the church lie the remains of Pedro I and Inês de Castro. Their love story is the most famous story in Portugal. Their tombs face each other, so that when they both rise on judgment day, the first thing they see will be each other.

In Alcobaça you can visit the museum of Raul da Bernarda: an exhibition of earthenware made by the company of Raul da Bernarda & Filhos.

 

Events

Every year many exhibitions, concerts, etc. are organised in Alcobaça. To name a few:

  • Cister Música (June, July)
  • Feira de São Bernardo (August)
  • Doces e Licores Conventuais (November)
     
Townmap

 

Published in Beautiful cities
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 20:57

Casas Fruta****

Spacious and luxurious holiday houses and swimming pool

Casas Fruta has 4 spacious and luxurious holiday houses and swimming pool. Situated in a quiet and peaceful area. But also very close to beaches and centuries old culture. Our holiday houses offer you a great short or longer holiday.

Whether you like to hike, sunbathe, explore the culture, or enjoy Portuguese food, it’s all there. And because of the pleasant climate here at the Silvercoast of the Estremadura you can enjoy the Costa de Prata almost all year round!

Published in Welcoming Stays
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