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Cadaval



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For those arriving from the neighbouring county of Bombarral, the town of Cadaval seems a pictoresque island of rural houses in the midst of a sea of vineyards and fruit trees, lying nestled against the heights of the Serra de Montejunto mountains.

It is an ideal spot for those wishing to escalate the mountain and explore its thick woods and caves, before admiring a vast panorama from the highest peak, at more than 666 metres.

A curious site to visit are the ruins of an old convent dating from the 12th century, where the Dominican monks took advantage of the climatic and geological conditions to build deep tanks linked by narrow passages where they stored the ice that was naturally formed and supplied it to Lisbon. Near the tanks there are two chapels lined with decorated tiles: the Ermida de Nossa Senhora das Neves, dating from 1218, and the Chapel of Saint John.

At the town of Cadaval, it is worth visiting the Mother Church, with two paintings by Josefa de Óbidos (1631-84, famous for her works depicting religious subjects and realistic still lifes).

Nearby, the ancient village of Pragança has a number of archaeological vestiges dating from Pre-historic to Roman times, natural caves and an interesting nucleus of 17th and 18th-centuries houses, with exterior staircases and typical porches.

The gastronomy of the region includes the well known pão-de-ló (sponge-cake) of Painho, roasted lamb and cozido à portuguesa (a variety of meats, sausages and vegetables served in their own broth).

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