Vila Viçosa is a Portuguese village, the District of Évora, Alentejo region and subregion of Central Alentejo, with about 6,000 inhabitants. It is home to a town with about 9,000 inhabitants, divided into five villages. The city is bordered to the north and east by the city of Elvas, south by Alandroal, west by Redondo and northwest by Borba. In Vila Viçosa remained the Dukes of Bragança for several centuries until the Proclamation of the Republic of its properties and the magnificent Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa. The villages of Vila Viçosa are Bencatel, Ciladas, Conceição, Pardais e Bartolomeu.



Patrimony

  • The Palace of Vila Viçosa is an important monument located in the Palace Square of the Alentejo town of the district of Évora. It was for centuries the home of the House of Bragança, an important noble family founded in the fifteenth century, which became the reigning House in Portugal, when in December 1st, 1640, the 8th Duke of Bragança was acclaimed King of Portugal, D. João IV.
  • The House of the Arches or Palace Azambuja Matos is a noble building located in Alentejo, village of onceição, Vila Viçosa County, District of Évora, Portugal. It has a unique location because the building is in the center of Vila Viçosa, near the Ducal Palace, the Convent of the Augustinian Convent of Chagas where the Pousada D. João IV, the Shrine of Our Lady of Conceição of Vila Viçosa, as well as the Castle of Vila Viçosa. It was built in 1599 by nobles who were possibly related to the House of Bragança, as indicates its proximity to the Ducal Palace.
  • The of Castle Vila Viçosa is located in the village of Conceição in Vila Viçosa. Built on a dominant position on the village, near the northeastern slope of the Ossa mountain range, stands on a hill defended naturally by the river of Ficalho and along the Carrascal river, smaller affluent of the river Guadiana. Judging by the testimony of the tombstones found in the region, it is believed that early human occupation of this location dates back to Roman invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. The medieval castle has a square plant, with walls of about sixty metres on a side, reinforced, in the West and East angles, by large turrets of circular plant. His Northwest face and part of the Northeast were common to the village fence. Inside rose the parish church, home of the first parish of the town, and today is the important shrine of Our Lady of Conception of Vila Viçosa, proclaimed patron saint of Portugal in 1646.
    The Shrine of Our Lady of Conception of Vila Viçosa is also known as Solar of the patroness, for because we can find in it the image of Our Lady of Conception, patron saint of Portugal. The church, which is also parish church of Vila Viçosa, is situated inside the medieval walls of the castle of the village, and the existence of the church is marked in medieval times. The present building results of the reform carried out in 1569, during the reign of D. Sebastião, being a large temple of three naves, where the local marble stands as material used in construction.
  • According to tradition, the statue of the patron saint has been offered by Constable of the Kingdom, D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, who has acquired it in England. The same image was honored by royal provision of D. João IV and has been proclaimed Patron Saint of Portugal, on March 25th, 1646. Also In February 6th 1818 D. João VI granted new favour to the shrine, erecting it as the head of the new Military Order of Our Lady of Conception of Vila Viçosa, thanking the Patron, the national resistance to French invasion. In this National Shrine are located the ancient Brotherhoods of Our Lady of Conception of Vila Viçosa and the Slaves of the Immaculate Conception. Pope John Paul II visited the shrine during his first visit to Portugal on May 14th, 1982. The great annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Vila Viçosa is celebrated on December 8th, solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Patron Saint of Portugal Home.
  • The Historical Archives of the House of Bragançaa, the richest country's private historical archive, housed in the former Bishop's Palace, consists of 200,000 documents chronologically situated between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. We can highlight some scrolls of the fifteenth century, manuscripts of the sixteenth century and important documents of the administration of former House of Bragança, since the seventeenth century to the twentieth century, related to the ducal chancery and old warehouses, from Minho and Trás-os-Montes to Alentejo. Although essentially of administrative essence it is of great value to research the national, regional and local history. The documents are available for consultation in the reading rooms of the Ducal Palace.
  • Other places to visit such as the Marble Museum highlighting the  scientific,geological and technological components  of the operating cycle of the marble; the Museum nucleus of hunting, one of the best and most unique hunting museums worldwide, collections of species and a collection of hunting weapons widely varied; the Museum of Archaeology, Roman assets found in the region and collections assembled by the King D. Luís I; the museum site of the Ducal Palace, former residence of the Dukes of Bragança, according to the sober Renaissance sixteenth century style; the Museum of the Armory, where are collections of weapons covering a wide period, from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth century; the Museum of Chinese Porcelain Collection, in which they exhibit a number of pieces of great beauty, from China; the Treasury Center Museum of the Palace of Vila Viçosa, showcasing unique pieces of jewelry; the Museum Carriage Collection , where we can find a set of coaches, litters, and Berlins caradaus from the eighteenth century to the twentieth century.
  • The Route of marble, in a region dominated by its extraction, suggests a route geotouristic obligatory visit to the station of Iron Railways, the Museum of Marble,  tiles from the twentieth century, Restauração Camp with unique marble walks, Hermitage of St. John the Baptist,  sixteenth century, the Cruise of Vila Viçosa,  sixteenth century, Church of Nossa Senhora da Lapa,  eighteenth century, the Palace Square, Equestrian Statue of D. João IV (XVI century), Convent of Chagas de Cristo (Pantheon of Duchesses), the sixteenth century Ducal Palace (XVI-XVIII century), Fountain of  King (eighteenth century), Church of the Augustinians (Pantheon of Dukes) thirteenth century, Knot Door, ancient door of the town (seventeenth century), evocative of the restoration of independence and of the Patroness of the Kingdom of Portugal, Knots Door, a symbol of power of the House of Bragança (sixteenth century), Door of S. Bento, Access to the Royal Park (eighteenth century),  Valentine's Varandinha with a panoramic view of Évora,  April 25th Square, Palace of Caminha (sixteenth century), with marble cross headstone,  picturesque separation of  houses, Small Fountain (sixteenth century ), Cruise - white marble bust of Públia Hortênsia de Castro (twentieth century), white marble on a granite pedestal, Mariano Prezado Square,  Christ Palace (seventeenth century), Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição (sixteenth to seventeenth century), traces of Roman explorations, low relief, chapiters, columns and bases in marble from the Estate of the Vicar (Bencatel), Castle and Fortress Chaser (century XII - XVII), Bulwark (seventeenth century), with a view of Spain, among many others records of the presence in the region of the marble.

Gastronomy

  • It can be said that the Alentejo cuisine in these parts reaches the excellence of art.
  • To discover the Alentejo cuisine is certainly a pleasure. Inspired by the Mediterranean trilogy - bread, oil and wine - together with the metal iron and the insertion of the potter's wheel, the communities that existed here associated herbs to other products of the earth and rooted their diet. Over time and with the mutation of agriculture, also the way to eat was transformed and came the culinary art. The assets of written recipes are tremendous. Within a few kilometers the same recipe has several versions according to local products. As an example, appears the “açorda”. Although the base is olive oil, herbs and bread, their accompaniments vary according to season and areas. “Açordas” can be eaten with olives, cod, baked sardines, with hake, with clams, with fried fish, with eggs, figs, grapes... The gastronomy of Vila Viçosa offers, among other delicacies traditional dogfish soup, tomato soup and the Alentejo “migas”. To accompany them we suggest a good wine from Alentejo. As typical dishes we serve from the cold gazpacho with hot corn to the hot “açorda” with eggs, cod and sardines to tomato, pot, dogfish, potato, purslane, the Alentejo “migas” with  fried spare ribs, lamb stew or roasted lamb, Alentejo boil, or sausages to accompany a good broad bean stew. Be sure to try our convent sweets, such as the much appreciated almond and squash Tibornas, Sericá originated in the eastern lands, the rice pudding, the “queijadas”, the “Nógados”, Finto cakes , the “filhós” and the “azevias” and other goodies of old convent flavor.

For other useful information and details check the website: www.cm-vilavicosa.pt

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