From farms to the ice manufacturers

From Alenquer to the Montejunto mountains and its breathtaking views, going through hills covered with the vineyards of the Western region down to Bombarral.

In the nineteenth century, the town of Alenquer housed woolen mills which imposing buildings still remain. The sprawls extends in terraces up the hill. In the upper village you can see the ruins of the medieval monastery of St. Francis, the first built by the Order in Portugal. The Church of São Pedro houses the tomb of humanist Damião de Gois. The vineyards all around evidence this landscape shaped by human hands. In Meca, the pilgrimage of St. Quitéria is still held every year, with the blessing of cattle. The manor houses linked to the production of wine can be found up to Aldeia Gavinha, where Church of Madalena is worth a visit. Instead of going straight to Merceana, go left until Aldeia Galega, formerly the county seat with its Manueline pillory. In the Church of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres, a porch gives access to the Manueline gate. Returning to the junction, follow then for Merceana where you should visit the Church of Nossa Senhora da Piedade (fourteenth century), connected to a pre-Christian cult. Continue to Vila Verde dos Francos, donated by King Afonso Henriques to the crusaders who supported the conquest of Lisbon. In the ascent to Montejunto is the Convent of Senhora da Visitação. On the top of the mountain, the change is impressive, both in vegetation and climate. The view extends to the ocean. Here one can visit the friars' factory, where in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ice was made to supply Lisbon, made in tanks that the City of Cadaval has been recovering. Descending through Pragança and going through the vineyards of Cadaval, Vermelha and Sanguinhal, you will arrive to Bombarral.

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