____ tw ____2
____Leaving Pombal Train Station direction to Coimbra
Like most of the medieval centres, Pombal's history also starts with its Castle. Gualdim Pais, the 1st Portuguese Great-master of the Knights Templar, built the Castle in 1171.
This land gave name to the famous minister of King Joseph I, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo - Marquis of Pombal - who spent here is last living years, until his death in 1782. His tomb remained in the St. Anthony's Convent until 1856, when it was transferred to Lisbon. St. Anthony's Convent was built by the orders of the Count of Castelo Melhor and was completed with the construction of Our Lady of Cardal's Church. Nowadays the Convent houses the Town Hall. The Marquis of Pombal Square is the town's historical centre, with its 18th century buildings: St. Martin's Parish Church; the Marquis' Granary; the old Jail and the old Clock Tower built by the orders of King Peter I, in the 14th century, to collect the taxes owed by the non-Christians.
The old Jail now houses the Municipal Museum, which exhibits a valuable collection of art pieces and documents related to the Marquis of Pombal. In Cardal's Garden, a nice place for some restful moments, you can find the Marquis of Pombal's Statue by Korrodi. The town's surroundings are full of living memories from the past. Redinha, located at the river Anços valley, was one of the first villages settled by the Knights Templar. A Romanic bridge, rice fields, weirs, watermills and churches decorated with baroque art are also part of this enchanting landscape. Another Templar town is Abiúl, having the oldest bullring in the country and where it is still possible to see the old-fashion Portuguese Gala bullfight.
Baroque art has its best expression in Louriçal, at the Clarissa's Convent, still inhabited today by this enclosed feminine religious order.
However, not only from history lives this region, because also of interest is the Sicó Mountain, an extension of the Estremenho Limestone Massif.
This landscape invites to adventures into the caves (grottoes), gullies, dens and tracks, and also to discover the small stone houses surrounded by stonewalls. Some old traditions can still be found here, like grinding the grains to make flour or drying clothes scattered under the sun. While here try the Sicó Mountain cheeses, the kid, or the cakes representing small birds and girls. Handicrafts offer a wide variety of handmade baskets, rugs, hand painted ceramics and hand weaved wool blankets. The difficulty is to choose. And from the Mountain let's go down to the coast through the "Mata Nacional do Urso" (Bear's National Wood), an extension of the Leiria's Pine Forest.
Once again finding the sun and sea, where peaceful beaches, like Osso da Baleia, offer water sports opportunities or the simple pleasure of relaxing by the seaside.
____ twitter.com/VitorJunqueira __2__