Megaliths & Romans around Flor de Rosa

There are many megalithic sites around Flor de Rosa and if you are staying in the Pousada and enjoy exploring do search them out, and there are many more than I have so far found! Photographs here were taken over several years, with different cameras and at different levels of expertise, but I wanted to share with you the fun in searching for these sites. The Romans were also active in the area and in Crato there is a very nice, small Municipal Museum with information about both megalithic and Roman sites.

The museum is in a building which was clearly an aristocratic or wealthy man’s mansion house, just round the corner from the palace of the Prior of Knights of St John of Jerusalem. This was the Order which built what is now the Pousada of Flor de Rosa.

The Municipal Museum in Crato

The Megalithic Portal is a fabulous site and here you can find all the sites in the district of Portalegre. The Anta do Tapadao is on the road between Flor de Rosa and Aldeia da Mata. I believe that burial sites like this were originally buried in the ground with a tunnel approach – you can imagine this if you look at the stones on the left of the uprights. The Anta of São Gens is in the countryside, near the Spa of Nisa.

Anta do Tapadao
Anta do Tapadao
Countryside around the Anta of Sao Gens
Countryside around the Anta of Sao Gens
Anta of Sao Gens
Anta of Sao Gens

Eastwards, towards Castelo do Vide there are at least 50 more sites – dolmens, antas, menhirs, and passage burial mounds. The Anta de Melrica is just north of Castelo do Vide; the Antas de Coureleiros are off the road to Póvoa e Meadas, an interesting group of five burial chambers.

Anta of Melrica, just north of Castelo do Vide
Anta of Melrica, just north of Castelo do Vide
Antas de Coureleiros
Antas de Coureleiros

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The Necropolis of Boa Morte is a small group of graves next to the dam of Póvoa e Meadas, and also at the dam is the Chafurdão do Vale de Cales. The chafurdão are much later buildings, perhaps used by shepherds or herdsmen.

And further to towards the Spanish border stands the Menhir de Meada, the tallest in Portugal at over 7 metres in height. Rock art can be seen, just, at Gaviões, although that is some distance away.

And Roman bridges are everywhere! The Romans were in the Alentejo from 2C to the end of 5C and if you look you can find their bridges everywhere. There are two Roman bridges just below Crato, and another on a circular walk around Flor de Rosa. The most famous is the bridge over the River Seda at Vila Formosa. And between Flor de Rosa and Aldeia de Mata, on a back road, a small Roman bridge has now been bypassed with a new road.

I love searching out these sites which are often difficult to find and not really known to the Tourist Offices; you need to do some homework before visiting and then be prepared for a considerable search because maps can be variable as well. But the sense of achievement and wonder when you stand on a bridge which is 2,000 years old, or in a stone circle which may be 7,000 years old is considerable!

Further information
Municipal Museum in Crato and here

Information about Crato
Sites around Castelo do Vide


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