Santar Vila Jardim

2nd Prize: “Protection or Development of a Cultural Landscape”

Santar Vila Jardim (Santar, Portugal)

Santar is a village in a valley of the river Dão region. There are remains from the Roman Empire, such as archaeological vestiges, roads and bridges.

A series of manor houses stands with contiguous grounds that once were occupied by orchards and vegetable gardens and vineyards along the edges. Some of these enclosures have evolved into formal boxwood gardens. Since the 1950s extensive plantations of vineyards became dominant in this landscape. A group of owners brought the properties together and started a conceptual process, led by Fernando Caruncho, who understood the genus loci and was able to awake the dormant side and beauty of the landscape.

The project uses the values of this cultural landscape to promote the region’s social, cultural and sustainable economic development. It is bringing people together, combining efforts and joining neighbour gardens, creating community gardens, opening passages or creating bridges over the walls. Visitors can discover Santar’s secrets and charms, gardens and built heritage, remarkable trees, emblematic camellia, boxwood alleys, the granite either in a rustic, noble or religious structure, traditions, vineyards and the wine, and the joy of the authentic country life.

(Image: Santar Vila Jardim)