Leiria is the second best living city accord the last country rankings. Leiria has been touted as an example of thriving and entrepreneurial dynamic economy. The Castle, Monte Real Spa, Pedrógão beach, Paper Mill, m | i | mo - motion picture museum, Sé de Leiria and the Lapedo Child from Upper Palaeolithic are the main attractions of the council.
Coming up from the city, visitors enter Leiria Castle through the Albacara Gateway. Inside this defensive bastion, there are various historical points of interest that have been well preserved. They include the Church of Nossa Senhora da Pena, the former Royal Palaces and the Keep in addition to wonderful views out over the surrounding countryside.
The architecture clearly indicates the medieval origins of this city. The first king of Portugal Afonso Henriques conquered it in 1135. He ordered a small chapel be built in honour of Our Lady of Mercy before handing over this military stronghold to Paio Guterres, the first governor of Leiria. Towards the end of the century, the castle walls were reinforced by king Sancho I after the region was finally secured by the Christian crusaders.
An inscription on the Keep reveals it was built at the same time as the Royal Palaces on the initiative of king Dinis in 1324 that also ordered the reconstruction of the Church.
The m| i |mo - motion picture museum, was born under the centenary celebrations of the Portuguese Cinema (1996). It is a dialogue between art, science and technique, which hosts exhibitions and regularly organizes recreational and creative activities on the topics film and photography.
Part of his estate collections of objects, which give information about the evolution of cinematography, through light and shadow, colour, rhythm and volume, skill and art ... illusion and reality!
Was awarded in 2011 by the National Association of Museology with a honourable mention for Best Portuguese Museum.
This museum follows the recovery and rehabilitation of the old mill town, carried out by the renowned architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. With its opening to the public, the Council of Leiria intended to preserve the memory of arts and traditional crafts inherent in this socio-cultural heritage, namely: grinding cereal (corn, wheat and rye), olive oil manufacture and production of the paper. Through various activities and guided tours, the Paper Mill makes known to all its visitors, the uses and customs of the mill, in the course of time.
This space located in “Vale do Lapedo”, gives visitors know the results of research carried out at the archaeological place of “Lagar Velho” shelter and its contextualization in the history of human evolution. In 1998 was discovered the “Menino do Lapedo”. The finding dated about 24,500 years corresponds to a child, which allows document a type of resulting mosaic of interbreeding between modern man and Neanderthal Man.
Located at the stadium in Leiria, just 5 minutes from the center of Leiria.
GPS Coordinates: N: 39º44’56” W: 08º48’52”
FROM SOUTH: the best way is to take the A1 motorway in the direction "Norte" or the A8 motorway in the direction "Porto" and take the first exit for "Leiria – Sul".
FROM NORTH: you have 3 motorways, A1, take direction to South and exit at sign "Leiria". You also have the motorways A29 and A17, follow the direction South and exit on "Leiria - Sul".
FROM EAST: follow the A23 motorway towards Torres Novas and then take the A1 motorway in the direction "Norte" or, alternatively, take the A25 motorway towards Aveiro and take A1 motorway towards "Leiria - Sul".
For more information about the cast and their schedules please visit this website.
FROM SOUTH: take the line of the West (about four hours between Lisbon and Leiria).
FROM NORTH: take Line West (through the Figueira da Foz Leiria or Coimbra-B towards Leiria).
For more information about train timetables and routes please visit.