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Two Portuguese monuments become UNESCO World Heritage Sites for a total of 17

The National Palace of Mafra, near Lisbon, and the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary in Braga have been added to World Heritage List, according to UNESCO. UNESCO recognized the two Portuguese monuments as cultural sites for their outstanding universal value.

Braga_-_Santuário_do_Bom_Jesus_do_Monte_(1)Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary in Braga. Photo credit: Antonio Amen

The recognition of the National Palace of Mafra includes the National Palace, Basilica and Convent of Mafra, as well as Jardim do Cerco –inspired by Versailles’ gardens, and Tapada de Mafra, a former royal reserve that is home to different species of deer, foxes and birds.

The Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary in the north of Portugal is an impressive 380 feet tall church that stands atop an elaborate 580 step staircase with several fountains.

The President of the Portuguese Tourism Authority (Turismo de Portugal), Luis Araújo, considers that “this is an excellent achievement, as we now have two more extremely relevant arguments to promote and raise awareness of our country.”

640px-Mafra_May_2013-2National Palace of Mafra. Photo credit: Alvesgaspar

Following these additions to UNESCO’s World Heritage list,
Portugal has a total of 17 World Heritage sites. The other 15 landmarks are:

  1. The Historic Center of Guimarães 
  2. The Historic Center of Porto, D. Luiz I bridge Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar
  3. Alto Douro Vinhateiro
  4. Pre-Historic Sites and Pre-Historic Art in Rio Côa Valley and Siega Verde
  5. University of Coimbra
  6. Batalha Monastery
  7. Alcobaça Monastery
  8. Convento de Cristo in Tomar
  9. Cultural Landscape in Sintra
  10. Jerónimos Monastery and Torre de Belém
  11. The Historic Center of Évora
  12. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications
  13. Madeira Laurissilva forest
  14. Vineyard landscapes on the Ilha do Pico
  15. The Historic Center of Angra do Heroísmo in Azores


Portugal has also received 7 distinctions for UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage List:

  1. Fado
  2. Mediterranean diet
  3. Cante Alentejano
  4. Cowbell manufacturing
  5. Falconry
  6. Black pottery from Bisalhães
  7. Clay figures from Estremoz


Which means that Portugal has a total of 24 UNESCO heritage recognitions.




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