The village of Broas has been totally abandoned for more than 40 years and, according to some, it was not modified or abandoned. This uninhabited village is located mainly in the parish of Cheleiros, county of Mafra, and its remaining area is in the parish of Terrugem, in the county of Sintra. The access to the local is difficult, but, despite it, the village is close to important roads, such as N9, N247, IC16 and A21.
Broas is surrounded by a vast natural cultural heritage, from a point of view of the vegetation cover, two rocky outcrops and some endemic fauna of the area. The topography of the land of this village has several conical elevations, or broas, daí o seu nome. Developed on a coast oriented towards the Cheleiros valley, where it joins the Cabrela riverbank with the Lizandro river.
This village, with characteristic saloons, is made up of about 9 rooms, 4 wineries, several warehouses and currais, a pombal and several fields. A large part of two lands around it, still a leaf delimited by stone walls, were used for agricultural purposes. In Broas, there is no type of religious, administrative or commercial building, the village has always been dependent on two services from other villages.
The houses here are composed of country houses, rooms and kitchens, since this last division always exists in a forno. The rooms have 2 floors and the other buildings have only a ground floor. The most recent house dates from 1888.
A distinctive mark of the village is a large freixo surrounded by stone benches, besides the center of the town, where it was common for the population to gather to live together and discuss issues. Broas chegou a ter about 25 inhabitants, like these days to base-se no rhythm das cultures e da pastorícia. Hoje, a village is just a skeleton of stone.
Since the last inhabitant left the village, it has not undergone alterations at the architectural level, being one of the few medieval Portuguese villages that has been abandoned, in a good state of conservation. In recent years, Broas has been mentioned in various articles of local journals and has been the object of study by various researchers.
It even appears categorized as immobile, not classified as of patrimonial interest in the review of the municipal director plan of the Mafra Municipal Chamber of 2009. Hoje, the village is integrated into some cultural sports clubs, being quite sought after by practitioners of free activities.
The town closest to Broas, Almorquim, is about 600 meters away, since the 2 villages are separated by a road that is barely traversable on foot, by bicycle or by small motorized vehicles. One of the original accesses was a road of Roman origin, of which traces can still be found.
Some indications of human occupation were discovered on the left bank of the Cheleiros riverbank, where Broas is located, dating from the Paleolithic period. Various archaeological findings allow us to support that, in Roman times, the entire area of Faião, even close to the village, had a large occupation. Not so, or the first record of this data from the population census of 1527, since in this document the village appears called “Aldea das Boroas”, as Vila de Chilheiros term.
In 1805 it is known that Boras belongs to the parish of Cheleiros, council of Mafra, as it reveals or geodesic framework that is found by Ali. In 1834, the administrative division was defined between the councils of Mafra and Sintra, with the village being delimited by 2 councils.
In 1936 Broas is mentioned as being an integral part of the Cheleiros parish. In 1950, we lived in the village about 25 people, or seja, 6 to 7 families. From then on, the number of inhabitants decreased, knowing that the last inhabitant of Broas was Ti Joaquina, second, a former resident of the village.
It is not known exactly the exact date of the abandonment of the village, but all the data collected includes a period that goes from 1969, when an earthquake occurred that hit the area of Lisbon, in 1982. Since that date, the village has never more was inhabited, or allowed to remain in its original form.
As happened with many villages in Portugal, Broas was losing population due to various factors. The agriculture practiced in the village around it is not very profitable and fails to guarantee employment opportunities, or it has a large negative weight on the local economy. As well, some two inhabitants were forced to leave their houses in search of more attractive yields.
As in our cases of desertification, the population has grown older and explores the economic activities of the region with low academic qualifications. In the absence of innovation, equipment and support infrastructure, as well as other means of progress, we will complement the reasons for the decline of the village.
Broas was not able to accompany the evolution two times, not having the necessary investment to maintain or comfort its two inhabitants. As time goes by, the accesses to the village are degrading, or that makes it more and more difficult for the passage of motor vehicles. Broas never wanted to be endowed with basic infrastructures, such as piped water, electricity, telephone or sanitation, or that it was because the population, especially the younger ones, participated in the pursuit of better quality of life and social status.
Another factor that contributed to the abandonment of the village was the division between councils to which Broas is subjected, since neither the Câmara de Sintra nor the Mafra would assume an essential role for its support. As well, many two inhabitants who left here would end up settling in vizinhas villages such as Faião, Cabrela, Cheleiros or Almorquim, as well as other places to Lisbon and some of them emigrated to França.