Mafra (Portugal)

Template: Infobox Municipio / maintenance / management address is empty

Template: Infobox city in Portugal / Maintenance / card is empty

Template: Infobox city in Portugal / Maintenance / Height is empty Template: Infobox city in Portugal / Maintenance / Postal Code is empty Template: Infobox city in Portugal / Maintenance / mayor is empty Template: Infobox city in Portugal / Maintenance / Administration Name field

Mafra is a small town ( Vila ) in Portugal, 40 km north- west of Lisbon. The city is the seat of a circle ( concelho ) with 76 749 inhabitants (as at 30 June 2011). The place is known especially for his monumental palace, the Palacio Nacional de Mafra.


Finds evidence of a settlement of the area since the Paleolithic period, particularly in the community Encarnação. Also worth mentioning is the middens in the beach town of Praia de São Julião, in the municipality Carvoeira. Emerged in the Neolithic period here first fortified settlements (eg in Cheleiros ), some dolmens are still preserved. However, the most important archaeological finds in the district date from the 1st to the 4th century. The Roman road from Sintra to Peniche was here, some of the bridges are still standing. With its fertile soils, the present district area was probably an important agricultural community of the city Olisipo (now Lisbon). In particular, for the production of wine, olive oil and vegetables is likely the area of importance have been, because it was suitable by roads and navigable waterways to the Middle Ages also transport connections to be involved in the supply of the city.

The Visigoths conquered the region from the 5th century AD, to be subjected to as a result of conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors from 711 and sold. The Arabs ruled here until 1147, when Portugal's first king, D.Afonso Henriques conquered the Arab village. 1189 Mafra received city rights for the first time.

During the reign of King D.Manuel I, who renewed the city rights Mafras, created numerous buildings, which are characterized by the Manueline style.

King João V. vowed to build a monastery, it should be the long-awaited offspring are born. After the birth of his daughter he built the important Baroque palace and abbey with the basilica, the current Palácio Nacional de Mafra 1717-1730. The plant is of enormous dimensions (about 1200 rooms, 40,000 m² of floor space ), and thus of greater extent than the Escorial in Spain. For the establishment of a quarter of the gold of the former colony of Brazil was spent. Armies of up to 50,000 workers were employed in the construction, who built the palace with great effort and 1400 deaths, and under the supervision of 7,000 soldiers. The construction of the Convento processed the literature, José Saramago from the perspective of ordinary people in his novel, The Memorial ( Portuguese: O Memorial do Convento, 1982).

Culture and sights

The Palace is the most famous building Mafras, it is also his extensive historical library call, which carries only 40,000 volumes from the 16th and 18th centuries. The application for inclusion in the list of UNESCO world heritage in check. In October, a classical music festival takes place every year near the monastery.

In the district there are a number of other monuments, including religious buildings, historic public and private buildings, and gardens. The Neolithic Tholos of Tituária situated on a hill in the same village, east of Mafra.

The 819 -acre forest preserve Tapada Nacional de Mafra is adjacent to the north of the palace library beginning botanical garden. It was the royal hunting ground and is still of deer, wild boar, and a variety of additional populated wild game. Trails are created and guided hikes are offered.

The beach community of Ericeira is considered as a European hotspot for surfers, and is the first European and one of the top three global surf reserves.



Mafra is the administrative seat of the homonymous district ( concelho ). The neighboring districts are (clockwise starting from the north ): Torres Vedras, Sobral de Monte Agraço, Arruda dos Vinhos, Loures, Sintra and the Atlantic Ocean. The following municipalities ( Freguesias ) are in the county Mafra:

  • Azueira
  • Carvoeira
  • Cheleiros
  • Encarnação
  • Enxara do Bispo
  • Ericeira
  • Gradil
  • Igreja Nova
  • Mafra
  • Malveira
  • Milharado
  • Santo Estêvão the Galés
  • Santo Isidoro
  • São Miguel de Alcainça
  • Sobral da Abelheira
  • Venda do Pinheiro
  • Vila Franca do Rosário


Local holiday

  • Ascension of Christ


  • Germany Germany: glues (Baden) ( since 1990)
  • France France: Frehel (since 1993)
  • Cape Verde Cape Verde: São Vicente ( since 1999)


From Lisbon can be reached via the Autoestrada A8, exit 5 to Mafra. The bus company Mafrense offers an alternative. It starts in the capital city of Campo Grande metro station. Furthermore it has Mafra just outside the center a station on the Linha do Oeste.

Sons and daughters

  • Manuel Caetano de Sousa (1742-1802), architect
  • Estêvão de Jesus Maria (1786-1871), Bishop of the Azores, Miguelist
  • Jaime Lobo e Silva (1875-1943), author, local historian and composer from Ericeira
  • Patrocínio Ribeiro (1882-1923), librarian, author and researcher Columbus
  • Ernesto Rodrigues Leandro Soares (1887-1966), teacher, librarian and art historian
  • Adolfo Abranches Pinto (1895-1981), military, diplomat and politician, minister of war 1950-54
  • Beatriz Costa (1907-1996), actress
  • José Franco (1920-2009), ceramic artist and sculptor
  • Vítor Alves (1935-2011), military and politician, officer of the Carnation Revolution in 1974
  • Vasco Gervásio (1943-2009), football player
  • Pedro Espinha (born 1965 ), football player
  • Hélder Sousa Silva (born 1965 ), politician
  • Ana Ferreira ( born 1984 ), actress, best known from the TV series Morangos com Açúcar