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Pedrógão Grande

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The county of Pedrógão Grande, one of the smallest of the district of Leiria, is rich in natural beauties and offers visitors dazzling sceneries of wild mountains and deep gorges in contrast with the tranquil waters at the artificial lakes of dams and the intense green of vast wooded areas.

The county's architectural patrimony is equally interesting and boasts of fine examples of ancient houses at the historical centre of Pedrógão Grande, namely the noble mansions rising at the Rua Dourada (golden street) and the Rua Rica (rich street), besides several churches and chapels.

At the heart of the town, the enormous Largo da Devesa square, with a pleasant garden full of leafy trees from where visitors may glimpse the chapels of Calvary and Saint Sebastian, acts as a sort of giant drawing-room.

The Mother Church, dating from the 12th century, was rebuilt in the 16th century and includes a tower rising 25 metres tall. The stone pillory of Pedrógão Grande stands at the churchyard.

The town is a good starting point to drive to the Cabril Dam, with its blue and tranquil waters lying amid terraced hillsides crossed by the river Zêzere, and enjoy the fluvial swimming-pool or admire the views at the belvedere on the Cotovia hillock.

The waters of the Bouçã Dam offer adepts of fishing carps, perches and dace, included in a local dish, a soup with different kinds of fish, but the county's gastronomy also displays meat specialities such as wild boar with beans or açorda de carne de porco (mashed bread with pork).

The traditional handicrafts of Pedrógão Grande include works in wood, cork and tin, besides fine lace and embroideries.

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