Sobral de Monte Agraço geographical location between the capital of the country (only 40 min North) and the beach (25 min), inserted in one of the largest wine regions of Portugal, enjoying a relief and odd landscapes, is an invitation to the discovery of places, stories and unique experiences.
Monte Agraço Fortifications and the role they played was absolutely decisive to defeat the French 1810; today they tell us stories of courage and bravery. Each path, landscape or building revealed to our gaze aspects the strategy of the British commander Arthur Wellesley - later the Duke of Wellington - who learned how to associate, in a perfect symbiosis, the natural conditions of the terrain and the military geniality.
Whatever the reason for your visit enjoy the many possibilities that this region offers and explore them!
Explore Fort Alqueidão at your own pace - or the Great Fort how it is internationally named. Discover why Wellington choose it as the centre of his strategic defense and his Command Post for the Lines of Torres Vedras - it was the only point garrisoned by regulars: General Pack's Brigade and two artillery companies of Sobral, exceptionally created by William Beresford.
Archaeological works carried between 2008 and 2011 allow a deeper understanding of the techniques used under construction of this ninetieth century singular military structure and also have identified a possible Iron Age dwelling.
Before leaving please pay attention to two unusual structures remains inside the Fort: the powder magazine and Governor's house - the only structures with these features within the two Lines of Torres Vedras.
When you leave Fort Alqueidão go down the unsurfaced road that runs parallel to the military road turning right at the first junction towards the Forts Simplicio and Machado.
Go in among the stands of eucalyptus which have taken the place of the undergrowth, oaks, pines and olive trees that used to grow here, feel the fragrance of the hill and be alert to the fauna.
These places, almost secret for the most distracted, are revealed through small paths on your left. In each of these Fortes is a sign or interpretation board giving both historical and military context informing its size, mission, and garrison plus artillery pieces. These military works complemented Fort Alqueidão, crossing fire over the access routes to the hilltops and transforming it into an enormous entrenchment fortification, powerful enough to dissuade André Masséna from taking decisive action and so leading him inexorably towards his decision to retreat from the Lines of Torres Vedras.
At Fort Simplício, the city of Lisbon, 25th of April Bridge or Pena Palace (in Sintra) appear unexpectedly close.
Take the same way back to the parking lot close to Alqueidão Circuit. When you are exiting take the left road following the direction of Fort Novo.
The windmill, although one of the larger examples of the western region, is a construction of the early twentieth century, but the extraordinary paramount that displays is timeless, turning it into one magnificent advanced observation post allowing to see the land around of Santo Quintino, the valley that links Sobral to Arruda dos Vinhos, the Tagus River (next to Carregado, Vila Franca and Alhandra Villages) and other Forts of the 1st Line such as Caneira, Paço, Moinho do Céu and Carvalha.
Alqueidão Circuit offers one route through well preserved archaeological, natural and military heritage and it is a starting point to discover other locations nature and history selected to tell our country and our common European stories in the company of friends or family!
“The gap between Monte Agraço and the Serra do Socorro was the main objective of the French army in its attempt to penetrate into the Lines."
If you like to see how some traditional windmills were authentic revolutionary technologies for its time, be sure to visit the Windmill of Sobral. Located overlooking the village, this Mediterranean-style windmill, has a privileged view of the mountains of Socorro and Montejunto.
It features all original grinding mechanism in good condition and, by appointment, take your children to observe its operation process. Explanations given by the wind miller himself allows us all to better understand the usefulness of these buildings, the West landscape where they dwelt, and the ability to capture and convert wind energy to move other mechanisms.
With a natural and historical landscape of great beauty abound appeals to stay in the region of Sobral de Monte Agraço. The history of the existence of these lands dates back 12th century and is supported permanently by the equity and cultural heritage manifested in local and most unexpected places.
Scroll through the various villages of the county in search of its identity. Is held on the primary religious buildings (churches and chapels), cottages and manor estates, forts, bridges, or other immaterial and ethnographic heritage, the result of the local people experience. Windmills abundant in the landscape, the sources and fountains or public washtubs confirm today the collective memory of a people who, very close to Lisbon, proudly preserves distinct traces of its rural life.
Within the refuge of simplicity there is always room for more monumentality, it is example the Roman-Gothic chapel located in San Salvador. The thirteenth century building is listed Public Interest Monument and marks the location of the county of origin, formerly called of Montagraço, where until the mid-sixteenth century, hosted the public authority of the time.
If you enjoy the Portuguese late gothic architecture (here known as Manueline) the Church de Santo Quintino, classified as a National Monument, is a place that certainly deserves a closer look. Upon entering you will see why it has been called "Tile museum" by many. It was built by King Manuel in 1520, on an ancient chapel dedicated to the worship of Santa Maria de Montagraço, and its patron Santo Quintino. During the next two centuries, the church has undergone additions and improvements.
The five sixteenth century wood paintings, the unique patterns of tiles (Hispano-Moorish, carpet panels, some with diamond pattern) as well as some images are just a few aspects of particular artistic quality.
This little church of ancient foundation retains its Manueline portal (Portuguese late gothic) and collects inside the second set of tiles in the county, divided by three moments: Sevillian and Hispano-Moorish tiles, seventeenth-century figurative panels and eighteenth century panels (hare called pombalinos, due to the Marquis de Pombal).
Associated with this church are the festivities in honor of Our Lady of Purification, which involves the entire village population and promotes sociability with neighboring villages.
Outside, grasp the opportunity to show your children one of the few remaining sun clocks (or sundial) which is a device that tells the time of day by the position of the Sun.
Due to its location Sobral de Monte Agraço is an excellent point to explore other sites of the region.
The proximity to Lisbon and the good road connection to other urban centres are made available through the highways A8 (Lisboa/Leiria) and A17/A29 (direction Oporto) and by IP6, A1, A23. Lisbon international airport is only 30 minutes away from Sobral de Monte Agraço.
Located on the city gates of Lisbon it benefits from the proximity with West Cost beaches where the white sands, the water quality and good road access are usually rewarded with the European Blue Flag Eco-Label. The temperatures are mild and invite you to relax and enjoy several nautical sport activities.
In 2013, the region gained the Quality Cost Award - an international prize directed towards regions achieving sustainable tourism as a cost destiny, its main goal is to promote the development of the surrounding locations, and Sobral de Monte Agraço is one of them.
The protected landscape of Montejunto Hill hosts a remarkable natural heritage only 25 km away from Sobral de Monte Agraço.
Right in the middle of one of the greatest wine regions in Portugal, with several DOC (Denominação de Origem Controlada) is the system of protected designation of origin for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products from Portugal), the municipality is proud to have several vineyards estates offering wine tourism activities.
For lovers of golf and horseback riding, the region also offers several proposals. Only 10 km from Sobral is the Dolce Camporeal Lisbon and thirty-five minutes away is the Vimeiro Golf Club, which hosts the International Horse Jumping Competition - proof that Portugal brings some of the top world, national and international talent equestrians.