Saramago Route

 In 1998, he was awarded Nobel Prize in Literature.

National Palace of Mafra

Monument

Look at the ceiling and concentrate on the central figure in the painting which fills it, a work by Cirilo Volkmar Machado. If you walk the full length of this room, you will notice that the gaze of this figure, who represents the son of Helios, the god of the sun, continues to follow you and his body turns in order to do so. This would even have unnerved Blimunda, the peasant woman from "Baltasar and Blimunda", whose eyes see everything. Try it and be amazed.

National Palace of Mafra

Monument

It was from this room that the monarchy attended the mass through the large windows facing the basilica. On the other side, the exterior, is a balcony supported by the stone which José Saramago dedicates an entire chapter to in "Baltasar and Blimunda" - just to stress the colossal work of the men who built this huge monument.

National Palace of Mafra

Monument

This T-shaped room, 84 metres long, houses 30,000 books on rococo bookshelves. The oldest is from 1472 and the most recent from 1820. Amongst them is a collection that was part of the contents of the Inquisition consisting of books of alchemy, black magic and the occult, amongst other obscure matters that would certainly have excited the curiosity of Bartolomeu de Gusmão, a character mentioned in "Baltasar and Blimunda". Its catalogue is a manuscript that took ten years to complete. The library is still accepting members.

Tapada Nacional de Mafra

Point of Interest

Created in 1747 by João V, following the construction of the Monastery of Mafra, this hunting reserve covers 1,200 hectares and is surrounded by a 21km-long wall. Today, you can tour it by train or electric car, practice archery, take a workshop on falconry, hunt, walk or cycle the trails, spend the night and, who knows, dream about flying passarolas.