The surrounding villages of Azeitão

Quinta de Santo António is fairly close to the Azeitao area and to two of its most characteristic villages: Vila Fresca de Azeitao and Vila Nogueira de Azeitao. The area takes its name from the immense amount of olive trees that can be found around the region, planted since the Muslim ages (“azeite”means “olive oil, in Portuguese). However, it was only after the Portuguese royalty elected Azeitão as a vacation place in the 14th century that the area prospered. The Spanish invasions of 1580 led to the departure of the royals from the region, and only in the 17th and 18th centuries did the nobility started to return and establish itself by building majestic palaces. The triumph of liberalism in the 19th century led to the almost complete exit of these new inhabitants, and the subsequent abandon and decadence of several of their palaces.

There were around 30 noble properties in Azeitão. We suggest below the ones we think are worth a visit:

PALÁCIO DOS DUQUES DE AVEIRO

The influential Dukes of Aveiro were part of the many members of the14th century Portuguese nobility that settled in the region for vacation purposes. Their palace is a severe and majestic, classical renaissance building that highlights the Rossio of Vila Nogueira de Azeitao.

PALÁCIO E QUINTA DA BACALHOA

This magnificent and rare building was never officially named, having been known first as Quinta da Fresca, then by Quinta do Bacalhau and finally by Quinta da Bacalhoa. The property had several owners, but it was only when it was bought by the son of maritime governor Afonso de Albuquerque  in 1572 that it became known in the region. This had to do with its renewal following new architectural standards influenced by Italian renaissance and manuelino style, which can be seen in the circular towers of the house.

QUINTA DAS TORRES

This magnificent and rare building was never officially named, having been known first as Quinta da Fresca, then by Quinta do Bacalhau and finally by Quinta da Bacalhoa. The property had several owners, but it was only when it was bought by the son of maritime governor Afonso de Albuquerque  in 1572 that it became known in the region. This had to do with its renewal following new architectural standards influenced by Italian renaissance and manuelino style, which can be seen in the circular towers of the house.

QUINTA DAS BALDRUCAS

On the same road that leads to Quinta de Santo António is located the beautiful façade of the Quinta das Baldrucas and its square, which opens onto the town of Aldeia de Oleiros. This property, bought in 1880, has a charming bandstand that is frequently used by local folklore group Perpetua Azeitonense.

QUINTA DA CONCEIÇÃO E DO PERU

This house, which used to be property of António Cremer, is one of the most beautiful constructions in the limits of Azeitao. The name Conceição comes from the little image of Our Lady of Conceição that stands in the house, while the name Peru comes from the connection of the owners to the mines of Potosi in Peru. The property underwent a magnificent renewal after being bought by Dr. Manuel Espirito Santo in 1941. The main works consisted in finishing the construction of the old palace and the small, charming chapel.

QUINTA DO CALHARIZ

This old property belonging to the Dukes of Palmela was the most significant example of the neo-classical period in the region. Its size and architecture, composed of many baroque influences, shines from the rest of the neighboring sights, and its gardens with French symmetries, statues and small lakes are a must-see.

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