• Diogo Machado

Curiosities In Portugal That Nobody Tells You About

Back to our appointment with the column on curiosities in Portugal that nobody tells you about. This time we will talk mainly about architecture and the extravagant ideas of some architects that we can find scattered all over the country. Would you ever live in one of these houses?


1- THE HOUSE IN THE STONE, THE FLINGSTON HOUSE


In addition to Monsanto, the village in central Portugal, carved into the rock, I could not fail to mention an even more curious house located in Penhas Douradas, Serra da Estrela, the Casa da Fraga. For centuries, in this northern part of the country, shepherds practiced transhumance and these houses were used during long journeys.



2- CASA DO PENEDO


Let's continue with the weird houses for a little while longer. Do you know Casa do Penedo? It was built in Fafe in 1974 by an engineer from Guimarães. Nowadays because of its fame on the Internet, the owner Vítor Rodrigues can no longer find his peace of mind. Don't you want Mr. Vítor to rest too? Then know that the house is on the edge of Fafe, on the border with Celorico de Basto.



3- UPSIDE DOWN HOUSE IN THE AZORES


If we are talking about strange houses, I certainly cannot fail to mention one built on an island in the Azores, more precisely in Furnas, on the island of São Miguel. What's curious about it? It was built upside down. Don't you believe it? Look at the picture.



4- DIZZYING TERRACE ON THE RED LISBON BRIDGE


Have you already experienced the thrill of climbing up to an 80-metre terrace with a magnificent view of Lisbon's river? It's the pilar7, one of the pillars supporting the city's famous red bridge, which has been transformed into a sort of museum about the construction of the bridge and has a dizzying terrace just for the most daring. If you have a strong stomach, watch the video below.



5- THE LISBON ART STORE IN A CISTERN


That Lisbon is a city of art now almost everyone knows. Every year new galleries open in the city and this is a very, very special new one. Why? Because it is housed in an ancient cistern of the 17th century, with the part bordering the ancient Fernandine wall of the late 1300s.



6- WOULD YOU LIKE TO PEDAL ON AN OLD ABANDONED RAILWAY NETWORK?


From Marvão to Castelo Vide you can pedal, for 15 or more kilometres, on a railbike that will let you discover the old abandoned railway network that connected Portugal to Madrid, the Ramal de Cáceres. An ecological and healthy alternative, because you will have to pedal yourself to discover the magnificent Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede. For more information, I recommend you contact Rail Bike Marvão.


7- COLOURED DOORS TO SAVE A VILLAGE


Thanks to the artistic project, Projeto Arte à Porta, five streets have been redeveloped in Oleiros, a small village near Sertã, not far from Castelo Branco. Thirty-two are the doors painted by various artists, inhabitants and children. Where are they located? Mark these addresses: Rua Dr. José de Carvalho, Rua Padre António de Andrade, Rua Monsenhor Romão, Praça da República and Rua Augusto Fernandes.



8- THE OLDEST ASTROLABE IN THE WORLD IS PORTUGUESE


Tell the truth. You didn't know. It was found on the seabed of the Arabic Sea, north-western section of the Indian Ocean, near the coast of Omã. It is an astrolabe from the ship Estrela, which sailed in the second part of Vasco da Gama's famous voyage. According to Guinness World Records it is the oldest in the world dated 1498.


9- AZORRE: GRACIOSA POWERED BY 100% RENEWABLE ENERGIES


We conclude the list of 10 curiosities about Portugal by sailing back to the Azores. After the upside-down house of São Miguel, I want to inform you that another island, Graciosa, has reached a historical record: It is the first island powered 100% by renewable energy. This is the Graciosa Energy System project, the first hybrid energy system in the world.



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