Town of Marvao and the craggy mountain on which it is located

Date of Submission: 05/06/2000
Criteria: (iv)(v)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Delegation permanente du Portugal
Coordinates: Lat. 39°23'40,2" N / 7°22'31.7" W
Ref.: 1428
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Description

The asset which is applying for World Heritage status is a unique symbiosis of cultural and natural features. It is not a historical centre, in other words, it is not an ancient urban founding quarter surrounded in the meantime by urban development. Rather, it is the whole town which is historical, with its unusual archaic architecture and urban features, and which, encompassed by its gigantic rocky fortifications, has never spread outwards, except during the 15th Century, which saw the building of the Nossa Senhora da Estrela Convent, also included in the application. In addition to the town, the application would also of necessity have to include the craggy mountain on which it is located, at an average altitude of 600 m (Attachment D, with its aesthetically interesting natural features, and which together with the town, forms a permanent place of interest as a whole. It was this geological aspect, of sudden precipices, which justified human defensive intervention and which at the same time bestowed upon the town its inhospitable features which to this day have ensured that it remains as though frozen in time.