Torre da Paz – 7th May
The Torre da Paz (Tower of Peace), is 11 meters high and its schist walls stand proudly in the middle of the white houses around them.( one of them is our rental!). The Tower is one of the symbols of the Aldeias do Xisto network and is also one of the buildings most cherished by the people living here, given the historical relevance of the tower once known as “Torre Salazar”.
It was the intiative of Mário Mathias “illustrious villager” that in 1944 it was decided that a monument to celebrate the end of World War II was going to be built, anouncing its end by the ringing of its bell. It was what happened for the first time at 2pm of 7th May 1945, when in Benfeita the end of the war was known, before it was even known in Lisbon (an employee of an english company, husband of a villager, called to give the good news). Since then, every day on that day the bell of peace sounds, ringing for 1620 times, the days that the “Potuguese Peace” lasted – starting the count on the day that Portugal assumed itself as a neutral country. Every year, in Benfeita, on the 7th of May, Peace is celebrated by the ringing of the bell.
Sorry I copied this from a web site….I attended very briefly, much to the delight of my neigbours who insist on me attending everything. A national TV film crew were there…..the singing was terrible!