Page:Historical account of Lisbon college.djvu/73

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63
HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF LISBON COLLEGE.

the Quinta, is situated in a part of the country which, from its fertility, has received the name of Capa Rica or Rich Cloak. This district forms a kind of peninsula or tongue of land, jutting out towards the west, and lying between the river Tagus on its northern side, and the Atlantic on the south, which here forms the bay so familiar to all Lisbonians, extending from the mouth of the Tagus to Cape Espitchel.

The Quinta lies about a mile from the western extremity of this tongue of land, and almost at an equal distance from the Tagus and the Atlantic. The name of Pera was given to it from the abundance of pears formerly produced in its neighbourhood. The house was neither handsome large nor commodious, but some twenty years ago it was considerably enlarged by the addition of another story, which was made by the late President, the Right Rev. Monsignor Baines, and at present is large enough to accommodate all the inmates of the College under its roof. On the ground floor its consists of a tolerably large cellar used for the storing of the casks of wine, and remarkable for its coolness, and rooms destined for the accommodation of the Cazeiro or Farmer and his workmen. On the first floor there is a good kitchen, a small chapel, and six rooms, one of which is large and serves as a refectory when the Community is there. On the upper story are rooms for the Superiors, and sleeping accommodation for the rest of the establishment. The out-houses consist of a new and neat distillery, a wine cellar, wine press, and stable.

The plainness of the building is amply compensated by the charming scenery which surrounds it. Running east and west, it stands about half-way up the northern slope of a beautiful valley, or rather basin about a mile in diameter, having opposite gently inclined hills of nearly equal height though of no great elevation, extending in a westerly direction as far as the Atlantic whose shores they overhang. The whole valley is clothed from its base to its utmost rim with vineyards interspersed here and there with cornfields. Innumerable white