Serpa in the Alentejo, Portugal

Serpa is another of those towns in the east of Portugal’s Alentejo which is relatively unknown to tourists – people travel to the Algarve, or Porto, or Lisbon, but the Alentejo remains hidden and undiscovered.  Restless Jo wrote a marvellous post on the town recently – do read it! I didn’t do Serpa justice and just would like to share a few memories with you here.

The town is on a hilltop, walled, and with a castle (of course, this is Portugal and near the border with Spain!). And like many of these sites it was settled c.400BC by the original inhabitants of the area, the Turdelos, occupied by the Romans and the Moors and finally retaken by the Portuguese and fortified by King Dinis – who else!

There were originally five gates into the town; this Moura Gateway is one of the three which I saw as we walked through the streets.

The Moura Gate into Serpa

Serpa's rooftops

A street in Serpa

Serpa

Serpa

The walls are surmounted by an impressive 11C aqueduct (Moorish?) on the west side of the town, with a 17C pumping station at one end, used to supply water to the Manor House of the Counts of Ficalho. 

The pumping station on the aqueduct, Serpa
The pumping station on the aqueduct, Serpa

 

The Beja Gateway, walls and aqueduct at Serpa
The Beja Gateway, walls and aqueduct at Serpa

The aqueduct at Serpa

The Beja Gate into Serpa
The Beja Gate into Serpa

The Castle has a long history of defending the town and the border and is now home to an interesting small archaeological museum.

The Museum inside the walls of the Castle, Serpa
The Museum inside the walls of the Castle, Serpa

The Castle, Serpa

The Count of Ficalho Manor House backs on to the walls, with an impressive square in front of the house. It looked rather delapidated and I imagine would make a wonderful home, or small hotel if renovated. Buildings like this, and those around the Praça da Republica point to a prosperous history.

The Count of Ficalho Manor House

Crest on The Count of Ficalho Manor House

The Praca da Republica, Serpa
The Praca da Republica, Serpa

I would love to return to this small town to properly investigate the churches, buildings, castle, and museums… Do stop by if you are in the area, and do read Restless Jo’s post!

Further information
Duke of Ficalho
Serpa

 

6 comments

  1. We didn’t get to go here. But I did love the cheese named after this area. Like you said, I wish to be back and do it proper! P.S. Is it possible to visit this village by public transportation? Thanks!

    Like

  2. Thank you so much for a lovely post. I barely just caught it as I was about to press Publish, and I’m missing for 2 weeks after this so good timing. 🙂 🙂 The photos are wonderful. I didn’t stop for the view across the fields, so thanks for that, and the square and so many others are lovely shots.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.