Visiting Pedrógão Grande
Pedrógão Grande was a “lost” small city inland, skipped by most tourists, except the appreciators of wild and green landscapes, until one of the most terrible fires in Portugal killed more than 60 people, and burnt that lovely landscape.
Curiosity and solidarity merged to carry Portuguese support, and the visits to the area grew exponentially.
Nature ans people are recovering, the built beauties remain, and green is appearing again everywhere.
Pedrógão deserves your visit.
Driving around Pedrógão still allows us to feel the overwhelming experience suffered by locals last summer.
Dramatic images appear everywhere, in the destroyed or surrounded villages, in the abandoned cars by the roads, in the ashes and carbonized structures that once were a delicate frame of green.
Of course, everybody feels that it can’t happen again, but… how?
What do do?
Built in the 12th century, and rebuilt in the 16th, the medieval look of this church is impressive.
Recovering works in the 18th century replaced some parts of the building, but the entrance still keeps the look of the former reconstruction.
I didn’t enter (it was closed), but readings tell me that inside there’s a curious image of the Virgin.
The first settlement in Pedrógão Grande seems to have been decided by our first king, Afonso Henriques, who donated the area to his son.
A “foral” (document from the owner of the lands listing the rights and obligations of the people) was published then, and another one was conceded in the 16th century by king Manuel I.
The pillory seems to have been erected then.
This small and beautiful complex, in the center of town, includes the church built in the 16th century, and a few buildings well integrated in the whole.
Specially nice is the staircase leading to the adjacent building, that, today, houses a museum of sacred art.
Vasco da Gama
The center of the city is dominated by a statue of Vasco da Gama.
Why? So far… because!
Surrounded by some of the best landscapes of Portugal, this dam (that I only visited once) is a quiet place for nautic activities, and a good destination for a calm, cheap and healthy break in each day stress, in one of the most preserved areas of Portugal.
How do I classify this?
The calm waters in Cabril dam don’t allow any kind of rafting, but when you spend a morning building a raft and use it to cross the lagoon in a very funny trip, what else could I call it?
I don’t know if the experience is available to public in general, but we had it there, and it was a very amusing time in the dam.
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