My visit to the Buçaco Forest wasn’t planned at all. I had always heard of it, of its beauty, but I had never had a chance to go there, nor had this place ever been under the radar.
But I’ve seen that these, by rule, are the best trips! Expectations can always be overcome and these places get a special place in my heart. It was like this when I visited the natural hot springs or the Sete Cidades Lake, in São Miguel, Azores. And now it was also like that with the Buçaco Forest.
My advice: do not miss another year without going there and I’ll explain why.
The Bussaco Palace is a magnificent building. Built in the 19th century, the author of the project is, no less and no more, Luigi Manini, the same architect of Quinta da Regaleira. Its feature is also well-known here, as well as similarities with other great Portuguese monuments, such as the Belem Tower and the Convent of Christ.
Although today it hosts a hotel, go in and visit the reception area and the staircase upstairs. Here I found incredible panels allusive to the Portuguese Discoveries that are worth taking a look.
At the front of the Palace begins the great green spaces, worked by men in glossy hedges and paved paths.
Convent of Santa Cruz
Right next to the Palace we find the Convent of Santa Cruz. In 1628, the bishop of Coimbra gave to the Order of the Carmelitas Descalças the “Deveza of Bussaco”. The construction of the Convent began the same year and two years later the religious order began its life in Buçaco.
In the Convent of Santa Cruz you’ll enter a space full of history. In the famous Battle of Buçaco, which placed the Portuguese and allies against the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte, Duke Wellington occupied one of the cells of that monastery.
The Way of the Cross
In the interior of the Buçaco Forest, along 3 km, you’ll find The Way Of The Cross. A journey consisting of 20 steps that represent the path of the Passion to the Prison of Christ.
Built in 1644, in this path you’ll see small chapels with images of clay. Some are in poor condition, but most are well maintained, so peer through the bars to see them better.
The Buçaco Forest
No wonder they call it the Relic Forest. The vegetation that we find here is a hundred years old. There are 105 hectares of unbelievable biodiversity. It’s simply wonderful to walk those paths.
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