Forest Park of the Discalced Carmelites, Bucaco
Forest Park of the Discalced Carmelites, Bucaco is part of the Tentative list of Portugal in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party.
- ●● Tentative
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
If you still have a day to spend a Coimbra, choose Mata National do Bucaco – the green heart of Portugal. It is only 50 minute bus ride from the main bus station. The bus will stop in the center of this national forest, by the kitschy, neo_Manueline summer royal palace built in the beginning of XX century and resembling to palaces of Sintra. The royal family could enjoy this palace only for 3 years – 1910 was the end of royal reigning in Portugal. Now it is a pretty expensive hotel where you can have a cup of tea or coffee if you want to see the interior, only the restuarant. Adjacent to the palace are the remains of Convento dos Carmelites: old church turned into museum now.
The hill on which the forest is situated was occupied by Benedictine monks as early as VI c., but that were the Carmelite who made this forest valuable. They came here at the beginning of XVII c. and encompassed it with a big wall to protect all kinds of plants, indigenous and brought from Americas. No woman was allowed to enter the forest! In 1643 a bull of pope Urban VIII threatens with excommunication any person cutting or harming the trees. The Carmelite monks marked out the Via Sacra and built some chapels with natural size presentaion of the Crusifixion scenes (they are not in as good condition as the ones in Varallo, Italy). There are also some nice fountains and ponds. It is a perfect place for a picnic.
I spent there 5 hours and came back to Coimbra by train from Luso, a spa town located downhill to the north.
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- Full name: Forest Park of the Discalced Carmelites, Bucaco
- Country: Portugal
2004 - Submitted