Laura Maudlin - Jul 4, 2011
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Announced on 7 July 2007 together with the New Seven Wonders, the Portuguese wonders is a group of remarkable cultural landmarks voted by general public. invites you to marvel at the beauty of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.

Castle of Guimarães (Guimarães, Braga)

Imposing medieval castle from the 10th century

The castle is regarded as the national symbol of Portugal. It was founded around the year 968, when the countess of Galicia had a castle constructed to protect people from the attacks of the Vikings and the Moors. Then in the 11th century, Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, ordered the castle to be reconstructed into a larger and more solid building. Gradually, it became an important defensive structure. In 1910, the castle was declared a national monument.

Obidos Castle (Obidos, Leiria)

12th century castle surrounded by 45 feet high walls

The castle situated in the fortified town of Obidos was founded in 1195. Today, it serves as a magnificent Pousada – a historical hotel. The castle and the city remain a well-preserved example of medieval architecture and as such they are a popular tourist destination. Each July the castle hosts a traditional Medieval Market recreating the spirit of medieval Europe.

Batalha Monastery (Batalha, Leiria)

Magnificent gothic monastery and a World Heritage monument

The Dominican monastery illustrates the history of Portugal and its rich artistic heritage. It was founded in 1385 but it took two centuries and fifteen architects to be fully completed. The monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the best and original examples of late Gothic architecture in Portugal, intermingled with the Manueline style.

Jerónimos Monastery (Santa Maria de Belém, Lisbon)

Impressive monastery and one of Lisbon's most visited monuments

The monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, is one of the most prominent monuments of the Manueline-style architecture in Lisbon. Founded in 1502 it symbolizes the Portuguese Age of Discovery. It is one of the most beautiful monastic churches in Europe and a popular tourist attraction. Surprisingly though, 500 years ago it was only a modest chapel where departing and arriving seafarers came to pray. It was King Manuel who transformed it into this remarkable monument to the great men who spearheaded the Portuguese discoveries.

Alcobaça Monastery (Alcobaça, Leiria)

Portugal's largest church, founded in 1178

The first and the largest Gothic building in Portugal, the monastery is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors are amazed by the huge space of the interior that lacks any ornamentation. It was founded in the 12th century by the first Portuguese king Afonso Henriques and for a long time it was one of the most important medieval monasteries. The tomb of King Pedro I and his mistress Ines de Castro can be seen there.

Pena National Palace (Sintra, Lisbon)

Sintra's most famous monument

One of the best examples of 19th-century Romanticism in Portugal is situated at the top of the hill Monte da Pena above the town of Sintra. The palace was built on the site of an old monastery belonging to the Order of St. Jerome and almost the entire palace stands on rock. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is used for state occasions by the president of the country. The palace represents a range of styles much in accordance with the exotic taste of the Romanticism. The mixture of eclectic styles includes the Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, Islamic and Neo-Renaissance.

Belém Tower (Santa Maria de Belém, Lisbon)

The majestic symbol of Lisbon.

The fortified tower on the banks of the river Tagus in Lisbon has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983 much like the nearby Jerónimos Monastery. It was built by Francisco de Arruda between 1514 and 1521 and commissioned by King John II. The construction was meant to be part of a defense system at the mouth of the river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. Thanks to its quadrangular shape the tower reminds people of medieval castles. Its polygon bulwark protected the tower against heavy bombardment from the sea.

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