During the seventeenth century, Sister Mariana Alcoforado lived in Beja’s Convento de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, when her passionate affair with a French officer, Count Chamilly, became the talk of the town – and indeed, the whole country. The nun’s scandalous missives to her lover, Letters of a Portuguese Nun, were published in Paris in 1669 and became the Fifty Shades of Grey of their day. Scholars have debated as to whether the nun actually wrote the original letters, but they were so popular that they inspired several imitations.

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Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The spirit of fado in Lisbon

The spirit of fado in Lisbon

An intrinsic element of musical tradition in Portugal – fado is a form of melancholic song that characterises the heart of Portuguese culture. Sarah Gilbert v…

25 Jul 2018 • Sarah Gilbert insert_drive_file Article
6 reasons why you should visit Portugal in 2018

6 reasons why you should visit Portugal in 2018

Portugal is less than three hours’ flight time from the UK, while flights from the US are generally available for under $500. Moreover, once you get there, it…

04 May 2018 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
Your Portugal itinerary: 4 road trip ideas to explore the country

Your Portugal itinerary: 4 road trip ideas to explore the country

Portugal is having a real purple patch right now. It’s one of the safest and least expensive countries in Europe with a balmy year-round sunny climate. Your d…

03 May 2018 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
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