Best In Glass

[an error occurred while processing this directive]The city of Leiria in the lower Beira region has long been known for nurturing fragile forms. In 1254 it was the site of the first Portuguese cortes (parliament) to include commoners. For the last two centuries or so, Leiria (pop. 50,000) has been best known for its handicrafts, particularly the fine, handblown glassware from the factories in nearby Marinha Grande.

The delicate glass, often richly colored, was a by-product of Portugal's maritime ambitions: 700 years ago, the monarchy needed ships and ordered the planting of 12,000 hectares of pine forest to provide timber and control...

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