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Salvaterra de Magos



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Once a favourite town of the Bragança dynasty (which ruled Portugal for 270 years, from 1640 onwards), Salvaterra de Magos had a magnificent palace with splendid gardens, a circus for bullfights and an opera theatre, but all this was destroyed by a great fire (1824) and now only the Royal Chapel and the installations of the curious Falconry remain and can be visited.

The kings were mainly attracted by the Royal Hunting Reserve with its abundance of game.

Surrounded by pinewoods, vineyards and grazing fields, this town of white houses and wide, straight streets has two fine churches: the Saint Paul Mother Church and the Miserichord Church.

There are other sites worthy of being visited across the county: Escaropim, a picturesque fishermen's village surrounded by thick woods and with a pleasant camping park; Marinhais, with its quaint houses separated by vegetable plots, orchards and small vineyards; the Magos Dam, for those who enjoy fishing and water sports; the Manueline chapel with 18th-century painted tiles at the village of Glória, or the magnificent Estate and Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval (17th century) at Muge.

Equally interesting are the Pre-historic concheiros (shell mounds) at the Muge marsh, where the remains of shells, human skeletons, stone instruments and animal bones seem to indicate that man inhabited the zone more than 7000 years ago.

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