Casa dos Bicos

sights / Historic

Lonely Planet review

The pincushion facade of Casa dos Bicos, the eccentric 16th-century abode of Afonso de Albuquerque, former viceroy to India, grabs your attention with 1125 pyramid-shaped stones. Long closed to the public, the Casa reopened in 2012 to house a small museum dedicated to José Saramago (1922–2010), Portugal's most famous writer.

Known for his discursive, cynical and darkly humourous novels, Saramago gained worldwide attention after winning the Nobel Prize in 1998. His best works mine the depth of the human experience and are often set in a uniquely Portuguese landscape. Stop in the bookstore to pick up one of his works, and don't miss the olive tree planted out front, taken from his birthplace of Azinhaga. Below the tree are the ashes of the great writer.