Vila Viçosa is a beautiful village with a rich and important history and heritage, located in the vast Alentejo region, also known as the “Princess of the Alentejo”.
Occupied by man since early times, Vila Viçosa has archaeological vestiges since pre-history, occupied by Romans and Moors until it was conquest in 1217 by the Portuguese king D. Sancho the 2nd.
In 1502 starts the construction of the most emblematic monument in Vila Viçosa: the Ducal Palace, house of the Dukes of Bragança, the most powerful noble family after the Royal Family at that time, and that years after won the Crown, founding the Bragança Dynasty.
In 1919, with the establishment of the Portuguese Republic, Vila Viçosa decays, due to the Republican wish to erase all the monarchy vestiges, however during the 1939’s Vila Viçosa rises from the crises with the exploitation of one of its major richness: the Marble, but also with the Tourism development, with the opening to the public of the Ducal Palace.
In fact, Vila Viçosa is widely known for the abudance of marble in the region, extracted and exploited in more than 160 quarries.
Located in one of the most fertile regions on the south side of Portugal, Vila Viçosa presents its visitors with many great monuments like the 13th century Castle, the beautiful Mother Church, the Agostinhos Church and Convent, the Santa Cruz, Capuchos, Esperança and Chagas Convents, as well as the many small palaces and manor houses decorated with the traditional Marble, and the great Manueline inheritance present in many small architectonic and decorative details throughout the village.
The Museum offer is also diversified with interesting collections, like the Marble Museum, the Coches (carriages) museum, the Archaeology, the Religious Art and the Hunting Museums. Actually, Vila Viçosa was an important destination for hunting sports, with the “Tapada Real”, the former King’s Hunting area with about 18 kilometres and fantastic landscapes and charming details.
Among the many personalities born in Vila Viçosa, the Portuguese Poet Florbela Espanca is one of the most prominent. Florbela Espanca was one of the first Feminist Movement leaders in Portugal, and author of amazing poems, a genuine proud for Vila Viçosa.