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Condeixa-a-Nova



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In terms of tourism, the county is known almost exclusively for the ruins of Conímbriga, the most extensive escavated Roman site in Portugal.

Occupied by the Romans as early as the 2nd century BC, it became an important town under Augustus (25 BC) and includes splendid buildings with mosaic floors, pools and baths, an amphitheatre, an aqueduct and a forum.

Outside the ruins, a museum explains their history and layout and displays busts, coins and other Roman and Celtic artefacts and is complemented by a restaurant and a picnic park.

The seat of the county, Condeixa-a-Nova (the new, to distinguish it from Condeixa-a-Velha, the old, located right next to Conímbriga), became a parish in the 16th century and suffered a great deal during the French invasions, when Massena's troops set fire to it in 1811; not even the Mother Church was spared. However, it still preserves some ancient buildings from the 18th century, namely the Sotto Mayor Palace and the Almadas House.

The county is characterized by fertile fields producing corn, beans, fruit and rice and by mountainous zones covered by bushes and green pine-woods.

The local gastronomy is specially succulent and rich, offering specialities such as roast kid with potatoes and boiled greens, escarpiadas (a sweet made of bread dough, yellow sugar and olive oil) and licor de leite (made of a mixture of brandy and goat's milk).

As for the local handicrafts, the pottery of Conímbriga is famous, hand-painted with designs from the 18th century.

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