Casa das Fidalgas - Santar - Vila Jardim

Fidalgas House

The whole farmhouse is surrounded by walls, with an approximate area of 3 ha. Located next to the House of Santar, the access is made by a square with an imposing baroque fountain, dated 1789, known as the Fountain of the Tower, toponymy allusive to the existence of an old medieval tower. The irregular configuration of the house, of great extension and denoting successive reforms, surrounds the square, placing on one side the main house and on another one the old stables, the cellar and warehouse. The house was built in the 18th century. XVII by Domingos de Sampaio do Amaral on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter D. Joana de Sampaio with João de Almeida Castelo Branco who would become the guardians of the main captaincy of the county of Senhorim and the founders of the “majorat” of Santar. It was passed down from generation to generation until, in 1975, Pedro Brum da Silveira Pinto donated it to the representative of the Portuguese royal house, D. Duarte Pio, and to his brother, D. Miguel de Bragança, Duke of Viseu.

The visitor, passing the gate to the bottom of the fountain, finds a large yard, which connects to an enormous avenue with remarkable examples of American oak trees, liquidambars, chestnut trees of India, cedars, ash trees, false plantains and olive trees. To the left side of the gate, the yard still leads the visitor to the zone of gardens, vegetable gardens and orchards, developed laterally to the main house, in terrain of smooth slope, with roads of carved boxwood, the so-called “carreiras”, flanking the fields destined to vegetable gardens and orchard. The garden develops in steps, with access by stairs in the walls, marked by large paths, partially covered by pergola of rose bushes, which passes next to two large tanks, whose water descends by gravity. Curiously, the vegetable garden mixes with the garden, with remarkable examples of camellias and magnolias on the upper level, vegetable garden in the middle and finally next to the house with a large balcony porch, there is a formal garden with a central lake, surrounded by boxwood, punctuated by numerous species such as yew trees, lagerstroemia, camellias and many more species that were planted by the Duke of Viseu. Next to the vegetable gardens, always with boxwood paths to delimit the blocks, there is a cherry orchard and a walnut grove.

The fields to the west, crossed by the avenue, are today an immense vineyard planted and designed by Fernando Caruncho and Pedro Vasconcelos e Sousa within the framework of the Santar Garden Villa project. At the highest point, a large panoramic kiosk was built from where, in the foreground, the new vine is seen, with the Casa das Fidalgas and the village of Santar in the background and, at the bottom, an immense plateau of Beira, at the foot of the Serra da Estrela.

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