In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Order of the Knights Templar supported the Portuguese crown in the fight against the Arabs in return for large estates and power. Under the protection of the Templars, young Portugal flourished. In 1314, Pope Clement V and Philip IV of France persecuted this rich and powerful order, and the Portuguese King D. Dinis opposed the Pope and was able to absorb the Order and its possessions in a new religious militia, the Order of Christ, thus saving the Templars from extinction. This history can be traced today on the route of the Templars, which from Castelo de Soure via Castelo de Almorol to Castelo Pombal from south to north follows the traces of the Templars and their influence even today.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites also include the imposing cathedrals of Alcobaça and Batalha, as well as the University of Coimbra comparable to the University of Heidelberg in Germany as the oldest teaching institution and university in Portugal, as well as the castle of Tomar called Convento de Cristo, all this can be found between Tomar and Coimbra up to Viseu.
This region also includes the Portuguese Alps our Serra da Estrela translates the Mountains of the Stars, the only place in Portugal with a ski lift. This mountain range is a preferred destination for many Portuguese who appreciate the nature here and the greenery of the mountains as well as its recreational opportunities.
If we now follow the Serra da Estrela further north in the center we come to the city of Guarda which means as much as guard, which also has its meaning because only a few kilometers from Guarda is the Spanish border in Vila Formoso, so you know Guarda watches over what is coming. Especially many campers and motorhome enthusiasts come across this border to Portugal. It should be mentioned that all campers are welcome, but a non-observance of the road traffic regulations in Portugal and the arbitrary occupation of parking lots, and private properties on the beaches are punished by the authorities and are not welcome by the population.
If you now drive from Guarda towards the coast, you can visit a region that is not yet so much in focus for most Germans but is certainly one of the most beautiful regions in Portugal. I call it the Tuscany of Portugal via the national road 16 from Vilar Formoso via Celorico da Beira, Viseu to Aveiro our Portuguese Venice because of its canals and boats that remind you of Venice. On the way there you will find many small towns and the famous Aldeias de Xisto, the schist villages that are located in the winding places on the slope of the mountains that you drive through on the national road 16 to Viseu. So Portugal has a lot to offer you just have to explore it, and we invite everyone and are happy if we help you a little bit more every time.
by Paulo Lopes - Casaiberia Mediação Imobiliária, Lda
The Mountain of the Stars, the Knights Templar, and a Ski Lift
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