QUINTA DA ESPERANÇA
(Farm of Hope)
According to Túlio Espanca, the house of Quinta da Esperança was built in 1595, however official records only exist after the year 1708.
Quinta da Esperança was founded by two brothers, Manuel Martins Sebolinho and Martinho Janeiro Sebolinho de Barahona, in 1708. In 1721, they donated a thousand réis to built Nossa Senhora da Esperança’s Chapel, where on the 17th of July of the same year took place the first mass celebrated by Father José Barbosa.
In 1728, was built the aqueduct that brought the water from Cuba’s Valley to the Quinta da Esperança. This work costed five thousand cruzados.
The Quinta’s Manor, in the southeast, was built between the 18th and 19th centuries, some buildings, most likely, on 16th century structures, while the northwest expansion was carried out already in the 20th century.
200 rooms, 131 doors and 109 windows put together about 600 square meters of area of the Quinta’s main house, whose limits reached, still in the 20th century, the municipality of Beja.
Quinta da Esperança is also known in Cuba as Quinta da Espanhola and Quinta do Conde. Espanhola (Spanish women) due to the nationality of its last resident and Conde (Count) for being inhabited by five generations of earls.
The house underwent five major renovations:
- The first one in 1700, mainly on the mural paintings;
- The second one in 1840, to receive Queen Maria, the second;
- The third one in 1910/20, to have better living conditions (better bathrooms and kitchens);
- The fourth one in 1970, according to the 70s fashion;
- And the last one that is still ongoing to become a Casa-Museu.