Buçaco, Forest and Mountain of

   On the boundary between Coimbra and Viseu districts, the Buçaco (former spelling: Bussaco or Busaco) forest and mountain (ca. 547 meters or 1,795 feet high), were the site of a famous Peninsular War victory of the Duke of Wellington over the French forces under Masséna on 27 September 1810. A monument remains to attest to this defeat of Napoleon. Not far from this spot is the Hotel-Palace of Buçaco, completed just before the monarchy was overthrown in the revolution of 5 October 1910. In Portuguese tradition, it is said that the royal family wished to build, in effect, the last royal palace of the dynasty, but could not afford the cost of such a construction and eventually converted the palace into a hotel open to the public. This magnificent palatial structure is now run as a hotel and combines various architectural styles, from Edwardian dining rooms and a billiards room to neo-Gothic, Arabic, and neo-Manueline rococo. Off the beaten track in the lovely Buçaco forest area, the Hotel-Palace remains a recent historic monument, and it is said that before it was completed, the last reigning Braganza, King Manuel II (1908-10), on more than one occasion met his French paramour there.
   See also Buçaco, Battle of.

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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