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Porto de Mós

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Porto de Mós
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The town of Porto de Mós is dominated by a castle perching on top of a hill, conquered to the Moors by the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, in 1148, and successively rebuilt over the centuries until it reached its present appearance in the 15th century, with two turrets crowned by cone-shaped roofs of green tiles and a beautiful sculpted loggia.

Another historical landmark is the Saint George Military Field, on the county's limits, located at the site where the Portuguese troops recovered the country's independence from Spain during the Battle of Aljubarrota, on the 14th of August 1385. Declared a National Monument, it includes the Chapel of Saint George, with an image of Our Lady of Victory, the Aljubarrota Military Museum and the battlefield's archaeological station.

In terms of religious architecture, it is worth visiting the Mother Church of Saint John at the seat of the county, with a Romanesque portal from the 13th century, as well as the rich Baroque church of Saint Peter and the Miserichord Church, dating from the 16th century.

Near the Town Hall of Porto de Mós, the Natural History Museum displays collections of archaeological remains and geological and mineralogical finds from the Aire e Candeeiros mountains, where a natural park is one of the region's main attractions.

The protected area covers 38,900 hectares of a limestone landscape of undergrowth, olive groves and pastures and the earth's core shelters a large number of underground caverns with strange rock formations and marvellous stalactites and stalagmites which attract many visitors.

The best known are Grutas de Mira d'Aire, at 17 kilometres from Porto de Mós, displaying underground lakes and a labyrinth of tunnels and passages at a depth of 110 metres, and Grutas de Santo António, at the Serra de Minde mountains. The tour through the caves ends with a music, light and water show.

Another of the county's natural curiosities is the Jurassic Belvedere, rising at 500 metres and formed by 15 limestone blocks representing the main periods of the Jurassic age and the dominant rocks formations at the Aire and Candeeiros mountains.

Located near the parish of Alqueidão da Serra, it offers a wonderful panoramic view over the distant castles of Porto de Mós and Leiria, the Batalha Monastery and the sea.

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