Created in 1747, in Mafra, during the kingdom of the magnanimous king D. João the 5th, following the construction of the Mafra National Palace, that was considered to be his most magnificent project. The Tapada would serve as a place of leisure, royal and court recreation, and would also serve as a source of natural products, as well as a wide hunting camp, quite in vogue in those days.
With an area of 819hectares, surrounded by a wall with 21km long, this Tapada houses several animal and vegetal species. In this area it is possible to observe Fallow Deers, Deers, Boars, Foxes, Minks, Goshawks, Chaffinches, Salamanders, Vipers or Wolfs, among many other animal species. In what concerns to vegetation it is luxurious and houses varied species, like different species of Pine trees, Cork oak trees, Olive trees, Oak trees, Eucalyptus, Platanus, Willows, among many others.
Nowadays the Tapada de Mafra organizes several activities for the preservation, maintenance and promotion of this pleasant space, with some Rural Tourism units and specific places for varied events, as well as the Hunting Museum (“Museu da Caça"), the 19th century Cart’s Museum (“Museu dos carros de tracção animal do século XIX"), and of course the National Hunting Area.
Several pedestrian walks are available, as well as a tourist trolley including the observation and discovery of the many different species throughout the Tapada, or other leisure activities, such as archery and crossbow shooting activities. Several group and pedagogic visits are also available, along with environmental projects and workshops.