Brotas is a parish of in Mora county, with an area of approximately 83.15 km2 and a population of 451 inhabitants, 2011 data.
Bordering with the Ribatejo and just over an hour from Lisbon, who passes Brotas Village can loosen up everyday and enjoy the quiet of the countryside.
Until the year 1834, Brotas parish belonged to the Eagles (Águias) county, which received its first charter in 1520. The seat of the county was originally the Eagles Village (Vila das Águias), having passed in the late eighteenth century to the Mora county, which currently belongs.
With about five hundred years of history and an unusual architectural heritage, Brotas Village is a pleasant and special place. A typical Alentejo village, with low houses, whitewashed walls with a colorful risk on the doorposts and on the covers. Decorated with traditional furnishings of the region, these houses reproduce the spirit of rural and timeless Alentejo.
There are several assumptions made for the origin of the place name of Brotas. It may be associated with the existence of daffodils, abundant plant in the region in times, but can also be derived from the Galician-Portuguese word burata meaning hole or pit, or even may possibly have resulted from linguistic evolution of the term brotes which meaning comes on the verb sprout (brotar).
Like many other villages, Brotas was born due to the presence of a small existing hermitage where today is deployed the imposing and unusual Shrine of Our Lady of Brotas (Santuário de Nossa Senhora de Brotas).
This is a very peculiar case in which the first civilian buildings which formed the small and original urban center, called the Baroque Our Lady of Brotas (Barroca de Nossa Senhora de Brotas), were ordered to rise by pilgrims, organized in brotherhoods, as indeed, gravestones, still existing today, confirm it.
A natureza e o meio envolvente da Aldeia de Brotas é Alentejo em estado puro. Uma paisagem pouco moldada pelo homem como se pode ler neste pequeno texto, de tradução livre, e datado de 1751.
“In the whole territory of this parish, and the term of this Eagles Village (Vila das Águias), mostly very bush, by the eastern part, and southwest which is the largest extent of the parish, are strong grounds, and muds, which produce excellent wheat, and the same strong everything else in median amount. For northern most of the ground is sand and rye in great abundance. It has large pine groves, holm oak and oak forests, which supply the sterility that would be less if it were more curious the diligence of its inhabitants, because it has many and wide valleys with plenty of native waters all year, that can make good farms.”
Can the waters no longer run so abundantly, but are these pine groves, holm oak and oak forests that shape the landscape. Under their shadows graze the most diverse animals in extensive regime. Many in biological production method. Where after processing come those flues that both fill the taste buds. Are in their tree tops and among them that many wild delicacies are taken from what the gastronomic recipes will referring, as true delicacies of the Gods.
Added to this diversity we can not forget the endogenous flora from where aromatic oils and sweet honey well tasting by the laborious work of bees. More the wildlife that will be seen by these fields out running and jumping. Be sure to look up to see the blue of this one sky, filled with birds by day and stars in the calm and serene nights of today, our Alentejo.
Brotas Village and its surroundings have few monuments and centers of interest that can be visited. Next, are presented some examples.
The Church of Our Lady of Springs (Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Brotas), or Church of Brotas, classified as a Public Interest since 1956. The building has its origins in the sixteenth century, but it was a place of pilgrimage since the fifteenth century, because, according to legend, the appearance Our Lady (Nossa Senhora), who miraculously cured a cow. The ceiling and the chancel’s cross are from the sixteenth century, but the decor was made with tiles in the seventeenth century and with neoclassical marble in the reign of Queen Mary I (D. Maria I). The outdoor balcony altar is also from the seventeenth century.
The set of buildings of the Church of Brotas (Igreja Matriz de Brotas), which resembles a neighborhood and gave support to pilgrimages of the pilgrims of the Brotherhoods of Our Lady of the Snows (Irmandades de Nossa Senhora das Neves). All houses have two floors and some have access staircase to balconies. Nearby you can see a water source with a spout and a rectangular sink, as well as the Shrine of Our Lady of Brotas (Santuário de Nossa Senhora das Brotas).
The Eagles Tower (Torre das Águias) which is located in the Eagles Village (Vila das Águias), Brotas parish, and is located in the vicinity of the Divor River and of Our Lady of Brotas Sanctuary (Santuário de Nossa Senhora das Brotas) is also a very good example of what you can visit. Was part of the called Eagles Village, of which there are still some houses. It is one of the most significant examples of Manueline towers in the region, but needs urgent intervention of consolidation and restoration. Built from 1520 by D. Nuno Manuel, king guard chief of King D. Manuel I (1495-1521), this tower, a manorial solar, it was used for rest of noblemen in hunting of great riding, frequent at that time in this region . Also surmise that the building of the tower would be linked to the cult of Our Lady of Brotas (Nossa Senhora das Brotas), in the neighboring sanctuary. Classified as a National Monument by Decree No. 136 published on June 23rd, 1910.