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The Literary Man – A Library-Style Hotel with a Collection of Over 50,000 Books

If you ever decide to visit the medieval village of Obidos, in Portugal, you needn’t bother bringing a book to pass the time. Just book a stay at The Literary Man hotel and you can choose from its collection of over 50,000 books.

Established in 2015, The Literary Man has already become famous as the world’s best hotel for book lovers. It features a constantly growing collection of literary works, most of which are written in English. Books can be found virtually everywhere inside The Literary Man, lining the walls of its massive lounge, on the bed stands of its 30 bedrooms, at the in-house gin bar, and even in its old wine cellar. The over 50,000 literary works cover a variety of genres, from novels and poetry to cookbooks.

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Never too Old for Art – Portugal’s Granny Graffiti Gang

Lata 65 is a highly unusual urban art workshop in Lisbon, Portugal, that teaches elderly women the basics of street art. Although graffiti is generally perceived as a part of youth culture, the workshop has introduced the quirky art form to over 100 senior citizens around the city. It gives groups of elderly women the chance to team up with prominent street artists and literally paint the town red. They bring color and charm to otherwise neglected and run-down neighborhoods, by making their own stencils and creating their own street tags.

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Portuguese Man Buys Tiny Island, Successfully Establishes His Own Kingdom

While this American searched the entire African continent for a piece of land to call his Kingdom, Renato Barros managed to establish his own country much closer to home. The 56-year-old Portuguese citizen purchased a small island on Funchal harbor, in Maderia, Portugal. He named it the Principality of the Pontinha, and anointed himself Prince Renato II.

Pontinha is actually just the size of a one-bedroom house, and has only four citizens – Barros, his wife, and his son and daughter. In addition to his Portuguese passport, Barros holds a passport for Pontinha with the number 0001. An art teacher by profession, he’s also taken on the roles of policeman, gardener, caretaker, and member of the royal family of his very own country.

“I am whatever I want to be – that’s the dream, isn’t it,” he said. “If I decide I want to have a national song, I can choose it, and I can change it any time. The same with my flag – it could be blue today, red tomorrow. Of course, my power is only absolute here, where I am the true sovereign.”

Barros got a chance to buy the island fourteen years ago, when it was owned by a wealthy British family who wanted to sell it for 25,000 Euros ($31,000), because it was of no use to them. Nobody wanted to buy it, but when Barros heard of the opportunity at a party, he decided that it was just the thing for him. There was only one snag – he didn’t have the money.

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The Bone Chapel of Portugal – A Creepy Sacred Destination

A structure with interiors covered completely in human bones – sounds like the stuff that scary houses are made of, right? But believe it or not, it is actually a place of worship. Capela dos Ossos, or the Chapel of Bones, is located next to the Church of St. Francis in the medieval Portuguese town of Evora. The 16th century chapel is a large room that has been adorned with the bones of over 5,000 monks.

The decision to use human bones as building material for a church is certainly an unusual one, but there’s a story to justify it. It seems that in the 16th century, Evora had about 43 cemeteries that took up way too much land. When the decision was made to destroy some of these cemeteries, the corpses of 5,000 monks were exhumed in an effort to save their souls from condemnation. It was decided that the remains of these monks would be relocated to the Capela dos Ossos. However, the existing monks soon realized that it might be a better idea to put these bones on display, rather than behind closed doors. These monks were concerned about the societal values of the wealthy town of Evora.  So they set about creating a place for meditation, a place where the undeniable reminder of death would help people transcend the material world. Read More »

Monsanto – A Portuguese Town Built between Giant Boulders

The charming town of Monsanto, an ancient settlement perched on the side of a mountain in the Portuguese countryside, boasts some of the most incredible sights on Earth. Featuring tiny streets carved from rock and granite houses squeezed between giant boulders, it looks like a real life Bedrock.

In 1938, Monsanto was named ‘the most Portuguese town in Portugal’ which seems strange, considering most buildings in Portugal aren’t sandwiched between two boulders, or have massive rocks hanging above them, but its awarded standing of open air museum, has allowed it to keep its outwardly appearance throughout the years. Due to building restrictions in the area, Monsanto’s appearance hasn’t changed in centuries and has managed to retain its original charm.

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The Doll-Hospital of Lisbon

If your favorite doll suffered serious damaged that you can’t fix yourself, jump on a plane to Lisbon and take it to the Doll Hospital. They’ll fix it right up.

Located in Figueira Square, Lisbon, the Doll Hospital has been “treating” dolls since 1830 and it’s not going to go out of business anytime soon. Equipped with an emergency and operating rooms, this bizarre establishment has experienced doll doctors and a wide range of spare parts, in case you’re doll needs something replaced.

If people ever stop having their dolls repaired, the Doll Hospital of Lisbon will donate its entire collection of abandoned dolls and spare parts to a local museum. I’m sure they’d fit better on The Island of the Dolls, but…

Photos by REUTERS

via Xinhua

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