The Marble Museum & Juromenha

Before I take you to Beja in 2018 we are going to hop back to 2017 when we were based at Vila Viçosa and spent four wonderful days exploring the area. On this day rain was forecast so we planned a little car tour and activities and walks which offered shelter!

The Marble Museum in Vila Viçosa is interesting, as are the quarries between Vila Viçosa and Borba but I was taken aback by the destruction of the countryside. I couldn’t help feeling that marble bathrooms and offices didn’t quite justify what was happening to an irreplaceable resource.

Marble Museum at Vila Vicosa

Marble Museum at Vila Vicosa

Marble Museum at Vila Vicosa

Marble mining at Vila Vicosa

Marble mining at Vila Vicosa

Juromenha is c.30 minutes away from Vila Viçosa and I had visited before, in the rain – this time it was brilliant sunshine. Juromenha was and one of the border fortifications built to protect Portugal from Spain. The lookout over the River Guadiana, the border with Spain, is extraordinary. Why was a fort built here? Apparently it is possible to cross the Guadiana at this point. The site has been occupied for thousands of years and this fort dates to 9C and the Almohad Dynasty. It was rebuilt by King Dinis in the 14C and again the 17C along the lines of the Vauban Forts by Nicolau de Langres.

Fortress of Juromenha

Fortress of Juromenha

Fortress of Juromenha

Fortress of Juromenha

Inside the walls there is a small Chapel of Mercy, the Governor’s House (with white windows below), and the Parish Church, but it is mainly derelict.

Fortress of Juromenha

The Parish Church (ruined) of Juromenha

The Parish Church (ruined) of Juromenha

The Parish Church (ruined) of Juromenha

The Parish Church (ruined) of Juromenha

The Parish Church (ruined) of Juromenha

The Parish Church (ruined) of Juromenha

The Chapel of Mercy, Juromenha

The Chapel of Mercy, Juromenha

The Fortress of Juromenha

The Fortress of Juromenha

The Fortress of Juromenha

Do visit! From here we visited Borba – next post.

Futher information
Excellent article on the history of the fortress
An interesting idea for development and another