Monsanto: the Most NON-typical Portuguese Village

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In the medieval Monsanto Village. Portugal.

In 1938, the Portuguese gave the village of Monsanto the title of “the most Portuguese village of Portugal.” It is strange. During this visit to Portugal, we drove about 1.500 km exploring the historic places of Idanha-a-Velha and other central provinces of Portugal, and never saw anything similar to this “typical” Portuguese village. All other Portuguese villages and towns, at least in these regions, are made of white stone from roofs to sidewalks.

Monsanto Village is unique both for Portugal and Europe. The village seems not to have changed since medieval times. It is a museum like the Belgian town Bruges. I’d say this is the most NON-typical village in Portugal.

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Castles of Bohemia: Bezdez

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Bezdez Castle. Bohemia, Czechia.

Why Bezděz Castle? Because it is not so famous as Karlstein, Konopiště, or Křivoklát, and it is closed from the first of November. We didn’t want to find a crowd of tourists there. We’d like to feel this place without witnesses in November.

Bezděz castle is located on a hill with a small village at the foot. Citizens of that village are normal enough people, so they want to make some money doing nothing. With that goal in mind they installed on every corner of their village the signs “Stopping and parking is forbidden” and a big billboard at the entrance informing every tourist that there is not one free parking place in Bezděz Hrad, but only paid ones. OK, no problem. We are ready to help the local people to live better.

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Monument to Count of Torralva – Castillo de Almodovar del Rio near Cordoba

I thank the novelist Anneli Purchase for her help
in preparation of this blog post

The Bavarian King Ludwig II is famous only for erecting a notable memorial of his own – the Neuschwanstein Сastle. So, the Count of Torralva Rafael Desmaisieres y Farina also conferred a great favour on all mankind – he reconstructed the ruins or it may be said he re-built the amazing Almodovar Castle – Castillo de Almodovar del Rio, which is more than 1200 years old – near Cordoba, Andalusia.

Castillo de Almodovar del Rio. Andalusia, Spain.

Castillo de Almodovar del Rio. Andalusia, Spain.

Various fortifications had been raised here since the times of the Romans, and it’s easy to understand why when you come up to the castle – it is a very practical place in terms of defense, right on the Cerro de la Floresta Mountain. Castillo de Almodóvar was built by the Arabians in 760. During Christian times the castle was owned by the kings and two Knight Orders: first the Order of Calatrava and then the Order of Santiago. Finally, almost completely destroyed it was inherited by the Count of Torralva Rafael Desmaisieres.

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