Sempre Noiva

I have discovered that the manor house we visited yesterday – not officially open to the public and at the end of a long track across fields – is called Sempre Noiva (‘forever new’) and is described by José Saramago in his Journey to Portugal as ‘a fine work of architecture, were it not so over-decorated with inauthentic decorations.   Despite all this, the building itself, dating from around 1500, sustains a sense of proportion resulting from the application of the golden mean to its central structure, a name the gilded youth who flocked there richly merited’:-

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