I love travelling in Portugal and set off to explore new areas and return to favoured haunts. During this visit we found that Alentejo on Foot has published brochures and a book of mapped, marked walks – I felt freer than ever to explore!
It was a grey, wet day as we crossed the spectacular Vasco da Gama Bridge and headed into the Alentejo towards Montemor-o-Novo to visit the Castle. The aerial photograph (below) in the Church of St James gives a good idea of the site. I understand this was originally a Moorish Castle which was recaptured in 1166 by Alfonso Henriques, the first Portuguese King. The walls encircled the original village which developed into a prosperous town by the 14C. However, the town was relatively safe, at some distance from the Spanish border, and so the population gradually expanded outside the walls, and by the 18C the town inside the walls had been abandoned.
I thought monotone photographs best suited the drama of the site and the gloom of the day.
Inside the Church of St James are wonderful frescos from the 17C and 18C.