During the reign of Manuel I (1495-1521) the Age of Discoveries was in full swing and Portugal's expanding empire began sending back inordinate amounts of wealth. As an emerging European super-power it was only fitting that this was put on show to the world with a flurry of monuments, churches and palaces built as the gold rolled in. This time was considered Portugal's heyday by some and it is also said that much of the nation's wealth was squandered on such vanity projects.
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The Seven Wonders of Portugal (Sete Maravilhas de Portugal) is a list of the finest national monuments and cultural highlights in the country. It was supported by the Ministry of Culture and involved a panel of experts choosing from an initial list nearly 800 candidate monuments. Once they had whittled down the candidates to a mere 21 it was left to the Portuguese public to vote on the very best of the best. In short this is the official bucket list of what to see in Portugal.