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Sunday, August 30

We are just popping over to Portugal

" Hi, I said to my daughter, " can't chat for long we are just about to pop to Portugal for the afternoon"

I always smile  to  myself when I say things like that, I suppose I am still adjusting to the things that we are now able to do,

We had not intended to "pop" to Portugal, but  as friends were going we thought we should take the opportunity have an afternoon off Finca work and go.

The Festivo de Povo  is held in the village of Campo Major and originated in 1893 but the actual flower festival as it is now, I understand ,began in 1909, however Portugal was entering a difficult economic phase at that time and it was another 12 years before it really took off. Since then it has been held every 4  years. 

 When I was told it was paper flowers and the streets were decorated with said paper flowers, I was to be honest a bit.. OK.... sounds good, but on arrival I was amazed, the whole village was dressed from top to toe in paper flowers, with each street having a different theme, There was a Wisteria walks, a tunnel of grapes and vines, doors covered in hundreds of colored flowers, and LOTS of people, not enough to spoil the day but still lots. People come from all over Portugal and like us, across the border in Spain to admire the scene. According to the local press the fiesta attracts a million visitors.....and the car park and coach park were testament to a large crowd, but we did not get a sense of too many people when we were there, and finding somewhere to sit or grab a drink etc was easy enough.

Apart from the  spectacular scene that greets you, what is amazing is the obvious work and effort that must have gone in to making these flowers   The residents in the town work hard for several months ( although it looks like years) to create this artwork, and many were sitting outside there houses eating lunch, selling paper flowers and greeting visitors like old friends.  The different village squares were full of dancing a music and small children dancing in costumes/

On our walk around the town we came across the Chapel of Bones

On 15th September 1732. The day started sunny but as it progressed  clouds formed and a storm began.  At 3 in the morning the storm caused a  beam to fall on the castle tower where huge amounts of explosives were stored. The explosion was so brutal that it killed 2/3rds of the Portuguese population of Campo Maior. 
34 years later, a chapel was built in memory of those who died in the explosion,  the bones and skulls of those killed  800 and more were used.  

IF you get an opportunity to visit in 2019 go, we will return we reckon its going to look even prettier at night when the lights are all working.

The Chapel of Bones


  1. When I started to read this I thought paper flowers hmmm. The pictures look amazing, I'm glad it didn't rain, unlike here. The church looks eerie but interesting , I wouldn't want to spend a night in it :)
    Great blog, it sounds so nice being able to pop over to Portugal.


  2. Thanks Roy Yep the church is a bit rain here yet either