Castelo Branco

Castelo Branco

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    The Garden of the Episcopal Palace of Castelo Branco, classified as a NATIONAL MONUMENT, is one of the most original examples of Baroque in Portugal.
    A recreational and reflection garden, it is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, whose statue occupies a central place on the back wall of the main patio.
    It was the Bishop of Guarda, D. João de Mendonça (1711-1736), who commissioned and probably supervised the work on the Garden.
    Later, at the end of the century. In the 18th century, the second bishop of the Diocese of Castelo Branco, D. Vicente Ferrer da Rocha, made some important works there.
    Following the establishment of the Republic, in 1911, the Garden passed into the hands of the City Council, first by lease and, in 1919, with the purchase that gave it definitive ownership over the property.
    The Jardim do Paço, in a rectangular shape, has five lakes on the main slope, in which the characteristic water features stand out.
    On the middle level, Lake das Coroas stands out and, on opposite sides, the Staircase of the Kings and the Staircase of the Apostles.
    On the upper deck, the Moses Stairs and the large tank from which the fountains operated (by pressure) were guaranteed, as well as the supply to the entire Garden and to the so-called Garden Gardens (now the City Park).
    Rich in symbology, the entire Jardim do Paço is punctuated by statuary, with water as a central element - presented in space as the purifying element - in a scenario that takes the observer to a constant duality between the earthly and the divine.
    The flowerbeds topped with carved boxwood and the orange trees planted throughout the garden exude characteristic aromas that make this place particularly pleasant in spring, although Jardim do Paço changes with the rhythm of the seasons and each season has attractions that make it unique and unmissable.




    The Castelo Branco Embroidery Interpretation Center is an equipment designed to promote the revaluation, recovery, innovation and relaunch of the city's ex-libris, classified as a handcrafted piece, but which, in reality, is assumed to be a unique form of artistic expression .
    The Interpretation Center involved the recovery of an iconographic building in Castelo Branco, the Domus Municipalis, former Casa da Vila, former Jail and, more recently, the Municipal Library, located in the square that delimits the Historical Zone, with medieval features, and the city new.
    Of recognized beauty and an example of originality in the field of national manufacture, Embroidery from Castelo Branco presents two dominant factors: one, of artistic origin; another, of economic significance. The first demonstrates the existence of an art of its own, with a peculiar style, the second admits the concentration of this embroidery industry in the District of Castelo Branco.
    The Castelo Branco Embroidery Workshop-School operates at the Castelo Branco Embroidery Interpretation Center, which brings together some of the most capable embroiderers, artisans of genuine Castelo Branco Embroidery pieces, currently in the final certification phase, which can be purchased at this local.
    The Interpretation Center offers the visitor a space that brings together ancient artefacts and the most recent digital/technological supports, on a path that takes the visitor through the origins of Embroidery in Castelo Branco, from the sowing of flax to weaving, passing through the creation of the silkworm silk and raw material extraction,  evolution of Embroidery and technique (stitches), as well as the historical framework and symbology.




    The Barrocal Park is an area of ​​wild nature with approximately 40 hectares and is part of the classified territories of the UNESCO World Naturtejo Geopark and the Tejo|Tajo Internacional Transfrontier Biosphere Reserve.
    The park corresponds to a fascinating geological landscape with an unexpected biodiversity that accompanies the seasons, a stone's throw from the urban center.
    Parque do Barrocal has 7 viewpoints, various geological formations of interest, walkways and natural trails, a children's playground, a bird observatory, among many other natural attractions.
    With a characteristic granite landscape, made of rocks generated in the depths of the Earth, but shaped and exposed by hundreds of millions of years of tectonic movements and climatic periods, the Barrocal is a refreshing oasis of Natural History.
    Its origin is associated with the installation of a gigantic magmatic mass located at an estimated depth of 30 km and with a crystallization temperature that started at 750˚C, dating back to around 310 million years ago.




    Although there are datable traces from Pre and Proto-History found in Castelo Branco Castle, it was during the Middle Ages that the Templar fortress was founded.
    This construction would have taken place between 1214 and 1230 and enclosed an enclosure of walls and towers. It is assumed that its limits were ordered to be enlarged by King Dinis, but, for sure, it is only known that it was King Afonso IV (1343) who ordered the construction of the second ring of walls.
    In the precinct of this fortress, known as the Alcáçova, was the Church of Santa Maria do Castelo and the Palace of the Alcaides.
    Through the engravings of the Livro das Fortalezas, by Duarte d'Armas, we can analyze Castelo Branco from the 17th century. XVI as a fortress-village, with narrow streets, featuring buildings with Manueline architecture ornaments.
    This fortification was part of a broader defensive system, built along the Tejo River valley.



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