Mafra – town, located 40 kilometers northwest of Lisbon, is known for its palace monastery, the most spectacular example of the Portuguese Baroque, built in the 18th century by the order of King João V.
The richness flowed from Brazil has caused King João V a desire to eclipse the Spanish Escurial Palace with magnificence and grandeur, and on the occasion of the birth of the heir, he began to implement the conceived.
Even today, the town of Mafra seems to be an accumulation of toy houses in comparison with the palace: the height of a three-storied city house does not reach the eaves of the second floor of the palace. Here is the world’s largest collection of bells that can be heard within a radius of 20 km.
In the middle of central 220 meters long baroque facade there is basilica with a set of 6 organs and 2 bell chimes. The whole complex with about 1,200 rooms, more than 4,700 doors and windows, and 156 stairways.
The ensemble includes also a huge monarchic library, in which 40 thousand volumes are preserved, including the precious first editions of “Lusiadas” by Luís de Camões, the Bible from 1514 and the early edition of Homer in Greek. Behind the palace – the land of the former royal hunting, and now – the park of wildlife, open for excursions, where laid 20-km tourist route.
In a ten minutes’ drive we reach Ericeira – a fisherman’s town on the west coast, famous for the best seafood restaurants and its magnificent beaches, desirable by surfers.