Monsaraz Local Customs

  • A Decorated Rest Stop
    A Decorated Rest Stop
    by Bwana_Brown
  • Raw Marble near Vila Vicosa
    Raw Marble near Vila Vicosa
    by Bwana_Brown
  • monsaraz
    monsaraz
    by quartinb

Most Recent Local Customs in Monsaraz

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    bullfight arena

    by quartinb Updated Oct 11, 2005

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    monsaraz

    i am totally against bullfighting.
    and i don t like to see it.
    thou' the sight of a bull fight arena, inside a mediavel castle caught my eye.
    off course then this was a kinda of a gladiator arena, on ancient times, and is now used by locals as a bullfight arena, a very apreciated spectacle in portugal.

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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Bullfight

    by micas_pt Updated Dec 23, 2004

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    Bullring inside the castle

    Bullfighting is a traditional custom of Alentejo. Although bullfighting in Portugal is different from the one practiced in Spain (in Spain the bull is killed on the arena and in Portugal it is forbidden to kill the bull as part of the show), there are some villages near the border which practice the same bullfighting as in Spain, meaning: they kill the bull as part of the show. Monsaraz, though, is not included on the villages which do it.

    In Monsaraz the bullfighting is a great happening and it is a chance for some young locals to prove how brave they are by fighting the bull.

    Not being a bullfight lover, this is all I may say about this “show”.

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    Hand crafts

    by micas_pt Updated Dec 23, 2004

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    Near the entrance door

    In Monsaraz there are several tourist shops which sell hand crafts. One of them, situated by the main entrance will let you see some ladies do some weaving on the machines. It is surely nice to observe the old traditions being kept alive.

    Apart from weaving, the terracotta products (painted) are also very typical of this area of Portugal.

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    Azulejos

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jul 15, 2004

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    A Decorated Rest Stop

    As is common throughout the country, blue and white ceramic tiles, called Azulejos, were common in Monsaraz. These are a legacy of the hundreds of years of Moorish occupation, a custom that was then carried forward and fine-tuned by the Portugese themselves over the next 800 years. They are extremely durable and are used for decorations both inside and outside of buildings. They also come in different styles depending on their era - but most of the ones that we came across seemed to be similar to this particular example of a decoration at a simple rest stop along one of the streets. Do I look happy sitting in the sun in Portugal while it rains at home?

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    A World Leader in Marble

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jul 13, 2004

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    Raw Marble near Vila Vicosa

    Along the drive between Redondo and Vila Vicosa, we were astounded to come across huge piles of marble blocks of all shapes and sizes towering into the air! This is one of the prime marble quarrying areas of Portugal, the world's number 2 producer of this elegant stone (their output is 80% of the production in number 1 Italy). This photo shows merely a paltry and flat pile of partially processed marble blocks after they have been sawed clear of the much larger blocks. During our drive, we also met a number of large semi-trailers loads trundling along the highway, with each vehicle carrying only a few blocks of this very heavy material.

    There is so much marble in this area that it is used even for the construction of small houses or for streetside curb stones!

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    Cork Trees

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jul 12, 2004

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    Trees Growing another 'Skin'

    The drive north from Redondo gave us the first chance to have a close-up look at the many cork oak trees that we had seen thus far in our trip. It was very interesting to see the smooth dark bark on the lower parts of the tree where the thicker spongy bark had been peeled off.

    These trees are native to the Mediterranean but only grow in a few places and nowhere near as many as in Portugal - the world's largest producer. The trees can live to be about 150 years old and it takes about 10 years for the dead layers of bark to become thick enough that it can be cut off in square-curved chunks.

    The tree trunks are numbered with the date of the year of last harvest, 04 for instance, so it will be quite obvious when it is safe to have another go at it!

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  • johnsakura's Profile Photo

    Alberto Monsaraz, 1889-1959

    by johnsakura Written Jan 29, 2004

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    monsaraz history portugal alentejo

    2nd Count of Monsaraz. Graduated from the Law Faculty at Coimbra University. As a militant monarchist and founding member of Integralismo Lusitano, he was forced to leave Portugal for exile on three separate occasions. He was seriously injured during the Monsanto Uprising of January 1919. Along with Rolão Preto, he created the fascist National-Syndicalist Movement, becoming its General Secretary in 1935. He was exiled to Spain following National Syndicalism's prohibition in late 1935.

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