Alentejo plains, ALENTEJO

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VILA REAL
CATHEDRAL
A Gothic building commissioned in 1427, with Romanesque traces still evident in its size, proportions and building techniques. The façade displays two strong buttresses that support and define the three naves. The area between them contains the doorway, with two rectangular niches above it containing two small 15th. century sculptures. Above these there is an eye window, not large enough to be considered a rose window.
The interior is divided into three by the naves and has a wooden ceiling. The central nave is supported by four ogival arches, the final one being larger than the others. The transept is unusual with its elaborately decorated single 18th. century chapel and is separated from the lateral naves by an arch. The pillars are semi-ribbed, and have capitals decorated with human figures and plants.
MATEUS PALACE
The Mateus Palace (or Manor House), one of the finest of its kind, is located near the city. Without doubt, it marks a high point in Portuguese Baroque and is one of Nasoni’s masterpieces. The Mateus manor house is a unique record of the noble art of civil architecture in Portugal in the 18th. century.
It resembles two long two-storey houses lying parallel to the main body of the building, which contains large windows with stone pediments above them. Baroque pinnacles in the form of obelisks standing on stone cornices rising from the corners of the roof. These floors extend into a "u"- shaped patio with a magnificent central stairway and balustrade running from both sides to the centre and a superb doorway. On the left-hand side there is a chapel which is similar in many ways to the main façade, and is a variation, or repetition with slight differences, of the overall design. The chapel façade has two columns, a door with a window above it and a Portuguese coat of arms crowned by a porch.
Inside the palace there is a small museum centre and the gardens are also excellent to walk through, with their tunnel of cedars and tightly clipped boxwood hedges that look more like carvings than plants. There is also the lake, whose waters mirror the outlines of the house and feature a marble statue by José Cutileiro of a dreamlike young woman asleep on the water.
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from  € 535