Portugal - Vila Viçosa, Renaissance ducal town

"The property includes: The historic town centre of Vila Viçosa; The hunting reserve known as Tapada Real (which extends into the municipalities of Vila Viçosa, Borba and Elvas). A buffer zone has also been drawn up, including rural areas and recent urban areas, in order to protect the property. Vila Viçosa is inseparably connected to the House of Braganza, the royal and noble Portuguese dynasty founded in 1442. The town was associated with the power built up by Dom Afonso (1377-1461), the 1st Duke, who was succeeded by Dom Fernando, and it became part of one of the two most powerful houses in the Portuguese kingdom. A frontier land, its strategic position would justify Dom Fernando being created Marquis of Vila Viçosa in 1455. Dom Fernando was to become responsible for protecting Portugal against any raids from Castile and became Duke of Braganza, Marquis of Vila Viçosa and Count of Arraiolos. Favouring the town with his presence, Dom Fernando (1403-1478), the 2nd Duke of Braganza, chose the town to begin to build the seat of the great House he had inherited. This explains why Vila Viçosa then developed a Court that revolved around this great dynastic House. When he died there, Dom Fernando had sown the seeds for the development of Vila Viçosa as the seat of a ducal court of the House of Braganza."

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

Vila Vicosa, Portugal.Thanks to Tiago of Portugal.

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