Suggestions in this region 7 Regions ALENTEJO ALENTEJO - ALQUEVA PORTEL


A castle on the plain

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Portel council is situated in the right bank of Guadiana, rising above the plain (between 300m and 400m high) and presenting two significant mountains: 424m high Portel mountain, further north, and 412m high Mendro mountain, in the south, already in the border with the neighbouring Vidigueira council. The construction of the nearby Alqueva dam has made this council of Alentejo popular. It is a council deeply aware of its heritage and traditions, celebrated every year during a congress on a local gastronomic speciality, the “açorda” (bread-based dish), for instance. The local castle can be easily seen from the surrounding area at a 341m altitude in one of the mountain’s slopes. The wall path in rammed earth, situated in the north-south direction, dates back to the Islamic period, protecting the most ancient residential zone. King D. Afonso III donated this town to his counsellor D. João Peres de Aboim as recognition for his help during the Algarve Conquer, which led to the construction of the current fortress. If you enter the castle through the Clock Door (Porta do Relógio), you will reach the former arms’ square. It is worth going up the 25m high keep and take a look over the involving landscape. Five of the eight octagonal marble towers that existed in the past can still be contemplated today, as well as a rammed earth wall and the old town zone.


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