Sep 1, 2020

Portugal (24) -- Quinta do campo

Brother, or sister, if you care: we've finished the house hunt, and are targeting a place atop a hill in Alcobaça, which is 6 km from the sea as the crow flies. Today, however, we talk about a different place, located in Valado dos Frades, a few kilometers from Alcobaça, and it's called Quinta do Campo

The main building of the Quinta do Campo

"Quinta" means farm, and this particular one started 900 years ago as the forage point of the Frades (friars) of the monastery in Alcobaça.  

Partial view of the monastery. (The place we are interested in is to the right/south of this picture, up the hill for 600 m or so, make a left, and there you are.)

The monastery is enormous, and possibly twice as large as the medieval downtown of Alcobaça, which, as we learned today, must have been a Moorish settlement initially, due to the prefix "al". 

As John, who runs the place together with two siblings, explained to us, the Quinta provided everything material for the monks, like food, drink (wine), and other substances of material interest; only metaphysical needs required recourse to other sources.

A partial view of the service buildings of the Quinta

Which---come to think of it---testifies to the power, and importance, of pre-modern religious orders.

But then, the order ran afoul of the same forces of darkness which Donald Trump faces in his re-election campaign... liberalism, atheism, and all these terrible creeds that deny the legitimacy of irrational power, and so, a Portuguese king around 1830 decreed the put-down of the monkish orders. The friars were bereft of their Quinta, which was sold to John's great-great...grandfather, a very rich man who had made his fortune in Galicia (northern Spain), and married into the Portuguese aristocracy. Said ancestor erected the manor in the first picture. He also bought kilometers and kilometers (miles and miles) of land around the place at bottom market prices, sired nine children, and lived a happy long life with his spouse.

Yours truly has--in his scandalous political incorrectness--always dreamed of the life of the landed gentry, but he has never seen, despite his visit to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and other places, a home as purely gentrified in its 19th century emanation as this one: 

The library (1),

the library (2),

the library (3),

the drawing room.

It's a pity Agatha Christie never visited this place.

We'll be back. Hold on. We rented an apartment on the Quinta for a few days; this was our entrance:

Apartment F.

(You can book them here)
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