There Are Two Portuguese Sites In The New UNESCO’s World Heritage List ♦ There are 17 Portuguese sites on the UNESCO list. The Palace of Mafra and the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus in Braga were classified as World Heritage this Sunday. The monuments included “the 36 nominations for inclusion on the World Heritage List”, which are being evaluated at the 43rd Session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), held in Baku in Azerbaijan, until 10 July. Secrets From Portugal is thrilled to share this news, and if you still are thinking of reasons to come and visit Portugal keep reading this article, you’ll love this amazing country even more. Enjoy!
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Royal Building of Mafra—Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park (Tapada) (Portugal)
Located 30 km northwest of Lisbon, the site was conceived by King João V in 1711 as a tangible representation of his conception of the monarchy and the State. This imposing quadrangular building houses the king’s and queen’s palaces, the royal chapel, shaped like a Roman baroque basilica, a Franciscan monastery and a library containing 36,000 volumes. The complex is completed by the Cerco garden, with its geometric layout, and the royal hunting park (Tapada). The Royal Mafra Building is one of the most remarkable works undertaken by King João V, which illustrates the power and reach of the Portuguese Empire. João V adopted Roman and Italian baroque architectural and artistic models and commissioned works of art that make Mafra an exceptional example of Italian Baroque.
Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga (Portugal)
The site, a cultural landscape located on the slopes of Mount Espinho, overlooking the city of Braga in the north of Portugal, evokes Christian Jerusalem, recreating a sacred mount crowned with a church. The sanctuary was developed over a period of more than 600 years, primarily in a Baroque style, and illustrates a European tradition of creating Sacri Monti (sacred mountains), promoted by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in the 16th century, in reaction to the Protestant Reformation. The Bom Jesus ensemble is centred on a Via Crucis that leads up the western slope of the mount. It includes a series of chapels that house sculptures evoking the Passion of Christ, as well as fountains, allegorical sculptures and formal gardens. The Via Crucis culminates at the church, which was built between 1784 and 1811. The granite buildings have whitewashed plaster façades, framed by exposed stonework. The celebrated Stairway of the Five Senses, with its walls, steps, fountains, statues and other ornamental elements, is the most emblematic Baroque work within the property.
Portugal already has 17 sites classified in the national territory, and there are 11 that constitute world heritage of Portuguese origin in the world. The Historic Center of Angra do Heroísmo, the set of the Jerónimos Monastery and the Tower of Belém (in Lisbon), as well as the Monastery of Batalha and the Convent of Christ (in Tomar), were the first classified in 1983. These include the Alto Douro Wine Region, the central area of the city of Angra do Heroísmo (in the Azores), the Sintra Cultural Landscape, the Elvas Frontier Town and its Fortifications, the Historic Center of Évora, the Historic Center of Guimarães, the Historic Center of Porto, the Luis I Bridge and the Serra do Pilar Monastery, the Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard, the Laurissilva da Madeira, the Monastery of Alcobaça, of the Côa Valley, as well as the former University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia.
The list of World Heritage Sites currently comprises 1092 sites in 167 countries. Some of them of Portuguese origin. They are the Historic Center of Macau, the Churches and Convents of Goa, the Island of Mozambique, the Portuguese city of Mazagão (El Jadida), the Old City (in Cape Verde), the Historical Center of Olinda (in Pernambuco, Brazil ), the Historical Center of S. Salvador (Bahia, Brazil), the Historical Center of Goiás (Brazil), the Historic Center of Diamantina (Minas Gerais, Brazil), the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos (Minas Gerais, Brazil ) and the Historic Center of Ouro Preto (Minas Gerais, Brazil).