3rd International Conference on Advanced Research in Virtual and Rapid Prototyping Leiria, 24th to 29th September 2007
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Location

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Leiria City


A striking royal castle, built in 1135 by the first king of Portugal Dom Afonso Henriques, hangs above the graceful city of Leiria. The castle was restored in the early 14th century, when it gained a fine keep and graceful loggia, with eight ogival arches fixed on twofold pillars. The castle commands a magnificent view over the city, namely the charming old town, with small dwellings over archways and elegant arcades.
It is also worth admiring the small Romanesque Church of St. Peter (12th century), the 16th-century Cathedral with an archaeology museum on its premises, Our Lady of Pena Church (Gothic) and the grand stairway leading to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Incarnation(16th century), from the same century.

Crossed by the river Lis and its branch, the whole region is characterized by fertile fields and forests, namely pinewoods, which provide a landscape of unusual amenity and soothing shades of green. The Leiria pine forest, a long coastal pine forest planted by king Dinis to supply wood for ship building, extends northwards to the beach of Pedrógão, quite popular during the Summer, while the nearby lagoon of Ervideira offers good fishing.

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Lat.: 39°44'9.60"N
Long.:   8°49'14.70"W

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Leiria is set between Lisbon and Oporto with the country's largest motorway (A1) crossing it in the north-south direction It is placed at the central section of the Portuguese coastline, where intense reflections on the water lend their name to Costa de Prata (Silver Coast).

The mild temperatures and white sandy beaches offer one the choice between practising water sports and the calm life of the seaside. The curative springs and the lush vegetation of secular forests have preserved all the rewards of their unspoilt nature. The monasteries, convents, castles, churches, and museums witness the priceless historic and artistic heritage of renowned universal value.

 

Costa de Prata is also home for famous traditional art treasures, such as its porcelain and crystal, as well as its gastronomy, strongly influenced by the sea and its tasty wines and delicious sweets. In the fishing villages or urban historic centres, the kindness of the people is another asset to add to its extensive and diverse list of qualities.