Serra do Buçaco
The Serra do Buçaco, once called the Serra de Alcoba, is an elevation of mainland Portugal, with an altitude of 549 meters in the area of the geodesic landmark.
The forest that still exists today in the Serra do Buçaco was planted by the Order of the Discalced Carmelites in the first quarter of the 17th century; there the Carmelites also built the Convent of Santa Cruz do Buçaco, designed to house this monastic order, which existed between 1628 and 1834, the date of the extinction of religious orders in Portugal. Presently, in its place there is the Hotel Palace Buçaco.
The Buçaco National Forest, considered a protected area, has plant species from all over the world, some gigantic, in addition to the world famous cedar-of-buçaco (Cupressus lusitanica).
The friars had taken a vow of silence and in their Desert, where from the seventeenth century they lived like the hermits of early Christianity, not even the magpies could speak.
The chronicles say that such a friar António de Cristo, prior to the convent, “because God would reveal it to him”, gave a certain hermit to create a magpie in his cell, “a bird that Nature has endowed with a tongue capable of taking human and species abounded the site of individuals ”. In order to teach her how to speak, the friar “did it with her”, although “with respectful modesty, not being heard by the other hermits”. It was enough for the prior to investigate the “wonderful bird”, ordering him never to enter that “holy place” again, to which the animal will have lowered its head, flapped its wings and flown forever from the cloister.
The legend of the magpie is recalled in an article published in the Portuguese Illustration, on November 25, 1907, and continues to be told to visitors of the Mata Nacional do Buçaco.