templeoutline.gif (8453 bytes)Estremoz, Evora 

 Alentejo - Evora
Rural Tourism Accommodation near Estremoz: 
Monte da Fornalha

Estremoz The walled town is surmounted by Queen St. Isabel's castle (now a Pousada) built by her husband, King Dinis. She died here after travelling from Coimbra and successfully negotiating peace between her son and his half brother. The heat of the journey and strain of reconciling the two men brought on a fever to which she succumbed on the 4th July,1336. 
There are large ancient marble quarries here, which are still worked. This marble was used in the construction of Belem, Lisbon, and the Escurial palace, near Madrid.  The earthenware and pottery figurines are also a traditional product of the town.
The local market is held every week in the Praça do Rossio on Saturdays. Also in this square is the Rural Museum. The Agricultural Museum, with its collection of old culinary and kitchen equipment, is in Rua Serpa Pinto. 

Estremoz Castle Keep

Vila Viçosa, considered yet another jewel in the treasure chest of the Alentejo, has often been included in royal dowries and grants. Dona Brites, the wife of King Afonso IV was given it as a wedding present, as was Dona Leonor Telles, the infamous wife of King Fernando. 
King João I presented the town to his heroic general Nuno Alves Perreira. In 1470, the bastard branch of his descendents, the Dukes of Bragança (the first of whom, Afonso, was married to Nuno's daughter, Beatriz) inherited and built the ducal palace in the 16th century. Within the 50 rooms open to visitors are mementos of King Carlos and his son, King Manuel II, the last King of Portugal.
The old town and castle, still enclosed within walls, was built in the 13th Century by King Dinis.
Many other small palaces and hunting lodges abound as this was the centre of the Royal Hunting grounds "Tapada Real dos Braganças", the walled "coutada", where wild boar and deer still run free.

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Bragança Ducal Palace, Vila Viçosa

Borba was founded in 1363 by the Order of Avis. This town is famed for its wines and olive oil. Visiting the "adega", you can purchase the best of local wines and the finest of olive oils.  Attend the annual Festival of Alentejo Wine, held in November. Visit the Cheese Fair in April. Sample the typical Alentejan menu at one of the small local restaurants.
Apart from a  ruined castle, nearly everything is built in marble. The marble from here was also used in the construction of the palace at Vila Viçosa (above).
Why not stay at Monte da Fornalha, the old Blacksmith's house and typical collection of farm houses that is an Alentejan "Monte".

Marble Fountain at Borba

The fortress chapel, Boa Nova, and castle at Terena are on the way south from Vila Viçosa.

Terena Chapel

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Last modified: May 20, 2006