Lovely towns

In Conímbriga one of the largest Roman settlements of Portugal was found, and therefore declared National Monument.

The remains are of a very good quality. You can see an aquaduct of about 3 kilometers of length, a part of the forum and a temple, some graves, fortress walls with towers, and the foundations of some houses.

At the "Casa dos Mosaicos", the house with mosaics, you can see beautiful decorations with geometric figures, flower ornaments, and animal images.

At the "Casa das Termas", the house with the thermal baths, you can recognize the hot and cold baths. You can also see the heating system that used underfloor hot air circulation to heat the rooms. A system that is still in use nowadays!

In the Museu Monográfico, also part of the site, you can see all kinds of objects that were found in the excavations, like coins and surgical tools.

www.conimbriga.pt

Village with rich history

In 1385 the battle of Aljubarrota was fought between the Castilians and Portuguese aristocrats. Lead by João, the Portugese won the battle. This victory became symbol for the Portuguese independence of Spain. Out of gratitude for the victory, João commanded the construction of the monastry of Batalha, dedicated to Santa Maria da Vitória. After they died, João and his wife were buried in the monastry.

Every year in August the village of Aljubarotta organises a medieval festival.

At the tourist office you can get a map of Aljubarrota, with a nice walking route which takes you to all places of interest in the village.

 

Glass town with English twist

Marinha Grande is located between Leiria and the coast. Since the second half of the 18th century it is the centre of glass manufacturing industry.

The Royal Glass Factory (Real Fabrica de Vidros) was bought by an English entrepreneur William Stephens who developed the factory and the business under the protection of the Marques de Pombal, and added a glassblowing school. The wood from the nearby pine forest was used to fuel the factories.

In 1826, the factory was given to the state and became one of the country's main producers of traditionally made fine crystal.

The former palacial home of William Stephens now contains the Museu do Vidro da Marinha Grande (glass museum) which houses glassware from the 17th-20th centuries.

Two other museums in Marinha Grande:

Museu Santos Barosa: Santos Barosa is the oldes glass factory in Portugal, and still working. The factory also has a museum, its collection shows how glass was made and used through the ages.

Museu Joaquim Correia: the former residence of one of the most leading families of Marinha Grande. It is a 19th century house, and contains the artistic heritage of Joaquim Correia. He was born in 1920 in a family of glassblowers. He studied the art of sculpting, first in Porto and later in Lisbon. He was a student of famous artists like Simões de Almeida, Francisco Franca, Barata Feyo and António Duarte.

 

Picturesque fortified town continues to fascinate

West of Caldas da Rainha, is the town of Óbidos. Óbidos is a fortified town located on top of a hill, and still encircled by high walls. Once the town was surrounded by sea, so it was of strategic importance, which explains the high location and high walls.
Dom Dinis gave the town of Óbidos to his wife Isabela as a wedding gift. Together they spent their honeymoon in Óbidos. For ages Óbidos was the wedding gift for every new Portuguese queen.

The whole of the town of Óbidos is declared as a monument. It has many streets, alleys, squares, white houses, shops, and restaurants. The walls are still completely intact, so you can walk all around the village.

Just before the entrance you can find the Tourism office, here you can get your own copy of the Óbidos map and lots of other information.

The Castelo

The Castelo is very old. During the earthquake of 1755 it was heavily damaged. In the 20th century the ruins were reconstructed. After te reconstruction the castle became Portugal’s first poussada in a historic building. Unfortunately it is not open for the public, only for hotel guests.

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