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The Portuguese Filigree

The Filigree is a very typical on the Portuguese jewellery. It is a metal working technique that can be either applied to stone or gold with a very strong impact on the history of the Portuguese jewellery. The first pieces found in Portugal made with this technique date back from the 2500-2000 AC.
This thorough technique is very unique as it a hand making turning every piece into a single and unique one. Most of the pieces based in this technique were representations of motives related to national history and culture.
The most famous pieces of jewellery made from this technique are the Hearts of Viana do Castelo. These have religious origins and are related with the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Back in time the heart was a symbol of life, love and fraternity and these were the main characteristics of the saints so these jewellery hearts were used as necklaces, as “hearts outside the chest”.
These jewelleries are part of the Portuguese identity and have become more and more famous over the past years and many international celebrities such as Sharon Stone or the Queen Mary are big fans of.
Upon your next visit to Portugal do not miss these famous pieces of art sold is most of the Portuguese jewellery shops.

March 26, 2015|

Portugal = Cork


Photo: Antonio Montuno
More and more often according to the international media coverage, the material is identified as an almost exclusive product from Portugal. And we, as proud Portuguese love this idea…. Not that s it entirely right but also it is not entirely wrong neither…
But what is the cork and what is its relation to Portugal?
It is a vegetal material taken from the Quercus suber (the Cork-Oak) and Portugal with its approximately 730hc of oak fields is the world leading producer of this material and is responsible for approximately 50% of the world production.
This material is taken from the oak trees every 9 years but the first removal can only be made when the tree is about 25 to 30 years old. The oak longevity is about 200 years old so it allows about 17 removals. The first and second removal are the weakest quality, and this is the reason why only upon the third removal, the cork can be used for wine bottling purposes. So the first removals are used for different purposes such as construction, design, health, energy production and other purposes.
During the late years more and more Portuguese artists and designers are using the cork for different purposes, not only with the aim of promoting green materials but also to promote the Portuguese identity as the cork is an icon.

March 24, 2015|

The top castles in Portugal

Portugal has a luxurious collection of castles, some more imposing than beautiful, but certainly a very charming feature of Portugal.  Built during times where land protection was needed, the castles are part of the Portuguese military structure which have helped to define the Portuguese frontiers which are one of the oldest in Europe. Loosing yourself inside these walls is like travelling in time through a journey of achievements, princesses and kingdoms. Here we present you our Top Castles in Portugal. Take a look!

Óbidos is a small and glamourous village about 30 minutes from Lisbon and its castle is perhaps one of the most promoted ones, as it was nominated one of the seven wonders of Portugal in 2007. Within its walls we can learn about local cuisine as well as crafts and it also hosts some thematic events such as the chocolate or the medieval fair.
The most romantic ones will be amazed with Almourol`s  Castle located in the middle of the small Island in the Tagus river. This castle hosts the most romantic legends with princesses and kings.
So if you like adventurous and brave tales with kings, why not take a walk down the Sintra hills to the Moorish Castle? You won’t find a princess looked in the walls, but for sure you will find a privileged view to lose sight of the mountains that extends to the Atlantic Ocean.

On journey through northern Portugal, you can’t lose Leiria Castle, on a  Gothic style and with stunning views through the city of Leiria which is rich in tradition and in gastronomy. Further up on the map we will find the medieval castle of Santa Maria da Feira, ideal for warrior’s spirits who would like to see […]

January 20, 2015|