Mafra: Travel and tourism

NHRM: Red deer (Cervus elaphus)
NHRM: Red deer (Cervus elaphus)
The small town of Mafra is dominated by the «convent», a huge monument which includes a monastery, a royal palace and a church, containing aproximately 880 rooms and 300 monk cells.

Begun in 1717 by order of King João V, it marks the beginning of the Barroque style in Portugal, having taken 38 years to build and employed more than 50 thousand workers.

Particularly known are its two carillons (each with 114 bells) and six organs, unique in the world, the statues made by Italian artists and the magnificent library, holding a collection of more than 40 thousand books binded in gold and leather.

The same king also created Tapada Real de Mafra, a hunting reserve where members of the royal family chased deer and wild boars. Today, it is a natural park offering a close contact with Nature (wolves, deer, boars and foxes coexist in harmony with a diversified flora).

Near Mafra, the fine beaches around Ericeira are worth a visit, as well as the town itself: an old fishing village which mantains its traditions although it is invaded in Summer by visitors from Portugal and abroad, who fill the cafés and restaurants (with fresh seafood) of the old town, perched high above the ocean.

Also in the region, the rural town of Malveira offers a big and lively outdoor market each Thurday morning; in the village of Sobreiro, visitors can enjoy a model miniature village, complete in every detail, created by José Franco.
Hotel Castelão Hotel Castelão
$$$ (50 to 100 euros)

Located close to the historical Mafra National Palace, the Hotel Castelão offers cosy accommodation, a restaurant and a bar. The rooms are functional and warmly decorated, with air conditioning, TV, phone and minibar; room service is also available.

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