The Chapel of Bones is a small chapel, part of the Sao Francisco church in Évora. Decorated with human bones and scalps, it represents the fragility of live and reminds the believers of their mortality. Built in the 17th century, it is now open to visitors.
On the top of a hill you can not miss the 5k fortress that embraces the city of Valença and pronounces its History. A city by the Minho river, that marks a natural border with Spain, it was a place of political and strategic importance in the early 13th century. It was built under the King Sancho I rule due to his military aspirations of conquering territories in Galicia and is now home for pilgrims and visitors form all over the world.
The Portuguese Easter celebration includes the visiting of Christ on the cross to the families's houses for blessings. Compasso is the name of the small catholic group that, headed by a Judge that carries the cross, goes through every town's street ringing the bells announcing the Christ's resurrection.
An old tradition gets repeated in Azores every Easter: Pilgrims form groups of men that walk around the island for a week praying and singing with their rosaries to protect the island. Until Thursday before Easter, around 2.500 men from all ages take this journey around S. Miguel with the population providing them shelter and supplies.
Portugal is one of the hottest emerging destinations in Europe. American travel jumped by more then 20% this year in terms of overnights and visitors (January to July), TAP launched two new gateway cities from the US, United kicked off DC-Lisbon flights, and Delta announced it will offer a new nonstop from JFK. Hotels are opening by the dozen – so obviously we have too much “new” news to squeeze into one newsletter – so let us offer a few fun new offerings in Portugal.
São Frutuoso de Montepios predates Portugal.
Flor da Rosa was abandoned in 1843, but again restored in 1995, with the church rebuilt and reopened, and the monastery building turned into a Pousada. The Pousada has 24 Rooms, three of which are located in the Monastery's Tower.
Buçaco is a fanatic forest in the Centro region, about 30 minutes from Coimbra. In its heart is the Bussaco Palace Hotel, built in 1906 by the Portuguese Crown as a royal lodge. It is a neo-Manueline-Gothic masterpiece with all sorts of whimsical details, and the forest is home to some of the oldest trees in Europe.
The Vatican announced that Pope Francis will visit Portugal in 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of Fátima. Pope Francis will make a pilgrimage to Portugal’s Shrine of Fátima between May 12 and 13, 2017, to commemorate the Centennial of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima. This will be the pinnacle of a yearlong celebration
Portugal has centuries of naval history, but ever wonder who the first admiral of the Portuguese navy was? That would be Dom Fuas Roupinho, and here's one legend about him: