|Portugal > Tourism > Alentejo > Vila Viçosa|
|Vila Viçosa has always been rightly
considered a jewel in the treasure chest of Alentejo, so it is hardly
surprising to find that it has often been included in royal dowries and
endowments. Dona Brites, the wife of King Afonso IV, was the first to
receive it as a wedding present, followed by Leonor Teles, King Fernando's
lover who was hated by the people of Lisbon, and was later presented to
Nuno Álvares Pereira, the heroic general of King João I.
There is much natural and man made beauty in town, which covers an area of less than 200 square km. It is easy to reach the conclusion that the natural beauty inspired men to continue to be creative, as the town's rich cultural heritage would not have been enlarged and improved as it has been over the centuries.
In today's industrial age, nature is still the driving force behind the production of the beautiful pieces of ornamental stone, besides the marble which has long been the mainstay of the local economy. Vila Viçosa will satisfy the demands of the most refined visitor. Historical episodes abound in the churches, convents and palaces, while wild boar and deer run free in the royal hunting grounds "Tapada Real". As you can no doubt guess, the traditional cuisine of the Alentejo reaches its high point here, with special emphasis on cakes and desserts, above all "Tibornas".