"The town that a monastery built" Top 5 Page for this destination Mafra by berenices
Mafra Travel Guide: 20 reviews and 96 photos
On any Lisbon travel guide, Mafra is almost always an afterthought. Which, in my opinion, is a literally big oversight. Mafra is close to Sintra, but the popularity of the latter overshadows mention of this equally, if not more, important place. The name Mafra is synonymous with the vast complex that served as both convent and palace in the 18th and 19th century.
The convent has a beautiful story behind it -- it was in fulfillment of a vow made by the King, D. Joao V, if his wife bore him a child. Upon the birth of his first child, a daughter, the King began construction. This building, with almost 40,000 square meters of floor area, was one of the largest construction done in Europe in that period (and that was a period when rulers believed the more huge a structure was, the better). It has 1,200 rooms and 4,700 doors and windows. I am sure even the King himself didn't get to see all of these rooms.
Mafra is situated in beautiful hilly countryside, and close to some of the most popular beaches in the country.
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