Magic Mountain

architects Pedro Brigida, Alice Santiago Faria
project Casa das Penhas Douradas Hotel, Manteigas, Portugal
written by Paulo Varela Gomes


Penhas Douradas is located at an altitude of fifteen hundred metres, in Portugal’s highest mountain range. The name means Golden Boulders and comes from the granite volumes that dot the slopes like a flock of marooned clouds shining in a soft golden hue under the sun.


Here, the twentieth century has been gentle: a hundred years ago there were a dozen houses and that number has only slightly increased. In 1905, a traveller remarked that, in contrast with central European hill stations where houses and hotels were aligned along streets, Penhas Douradas’ buildings were scattered here and there.