Paço da Torre - Portugal
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Paço’s History

Paço da Torre de Figueiredo das Donas is a manor house which precise origin is not well established, but known to have existed in the 15th century with a rich history. The place and the house are also linked to place and home to a legend which bore the name of Figueiredo das Donas and the construction of Paço da Torre originates in the action narrated in it.

According to several authors, the initial construction can be traced back to Roman times (rustic Roman villa), citing among others the proximity of the thermal spa of S. Pedro do Sul, ancient public Roman baths, as proven during archaeological excavations at the location. As well as the proximity to the Roman road from Braga to Merida, which is about 200 meters from the house, and which shows how well this area is conserved. However, Paço da Torre – as it was in 2008 – was an overlap of buildings that were running over several periods, and it can be said that the predominant style is Portuguese Baroque “floor” style. With the decline of landed gentry it became abandoned and for decades it was uninhabited, and in advanced state of degradation having been subject to successive lootings.

In 2006 it was acquired by the current owners, who immediately began the process of rebuilding the noble part of the house and chapel, using the services of Architect Elisa Rebelo, who prepared herself by studying the origin and architecture of it. In the recovery process, the original material on site was reutilized – meaning the granite rubble for the reconstruction of the solid and thick walls, like the friezes and the “lovers´ seat” stones of the doors and windows, closely following the original design. However, some elements necessary for the comfort of modern life were introduced, in particular some original windows were generously extended and balconies suspended on the old protective wall were built, to allow the residents to admire the spectacular scenery to the north and west of the Vouga river valley and the Freitas, Arada, St. Macarius and Montemuro mountains – a 180º horizon view that reaches beyond 20 km in distance.

Paço is set in a farm enclosed by walls with 23,000 sqm, part of which is occupied by an oak forest, and the remainder being devoted to the cultivation of organic vegetables and fruit for own consumption. A curious peculiarity of the farm land is the existence of a huge quantity of bayberry bushes – some very large – which arise spontaneously in various places.

Considering the large size of the house, the beauty of the place and its excellent location, the owners realized that they should share it with others than just family and friends. For this reason, a part of Paço is also a so-called Guest House, duly licensed under the laws put in force by the Municipal Council of Vouzela, with capacity for up to 16 people in 8 rooms.

The rehabilitation works were completed in late summer 2010 and at that time Paço was fully renovated and ready to receive you with open arms.

In 2013, two new autonomous buildings were constructed, of modern design and with ample views to the landscape, one of which are the rooms D. Amélia and D. Ignês, and the other is a dining and living room space.


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