A peninsula bathed by the river Zêzere that would have served as a strategic military point at the beginning of nationality. It was the county seat, parish and now is simply a locality. Dornes has the charm of history and nature competing with each other, but is gradually becoming depopulated.
It's a hidden point of a deep Portugal, the portrait of a rural country that is being forgotten in the eyes of globalization. It is the only of the finalist villages of the Middle Tagus in the most beautiful of Portugal.
It was a village with over a thousand people and today it has four hundred. Dornes is no longer a parish, nor a county. I doubt if the village designation still fits you.
It's a picturesque town on the edge of the river Zêzere, with a mysterious Templar tower, a church dedicated to Our Lady of Weeping, built by Queen Santa Isabel, and some beliefs associated with its location.
It has a small river beach and it is possible to do canoe or seagull trips there. There is a pedestrian walk and the indication of the Great Route of Zêzere.
Despite its long history, it has not become a heavy tourist spot. It has a central restaurant, one further away. Many villas, an inn. It is a quiet, peaceful tourist destination for artistic residences, weekend getaways or even a spiritual retreat.
The Pentagonal Tower will be the work of the Roman General Sertorius, who dominated much of the Iberian Peninsula and is linked to the legend of neighboring Sertã.
The territory was later in the possession of the Templars, which succeeded the Order of Christ. Another version states that the Pentagonal Tower was built during the Christian reconquest and formation of Portugal, in the twelfth century, for strategic reasons, by the templar knight Gualdim Pais, and its history is linked to the founding of Ferreira do Zêzere.
More peaceful is the history of the Church of Nossa Senhora do Pranto. It was built in the thirteenth century by Queen Santa Isabel and rebuilt in the fifteenth century by Commander D. Gonçalo de Sousa, of the Order of Christ. Of the Church there are the tiles, the pipe organ, the stone images of Nossa Senhora do Pranto and Santa Catarina and the oil of “Rest on the escape to Egypt”. The pilgrimage to Nossa Senhora do Pranto takes place on August 15th.
The large area of surrounding forest, the cliffs on the banks of the reservoir constitute an ideal habitat for numerous species of fauna: wild boars, tail-throwers, foxes, squirrels are just a few. Many are not easy to see, like the otter, but we can enjoy watching several birds, especially along the reservoir, such as herons, loons or cormorants.
All the enchantment of Dornes isn't here fully demonstrated. In order to be able to grasp it in its fullness, one has to experience it on the spot, traversing its streets, paths or the river and being immersed in its magic.