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Cultural heritage - historical - architecture - religious - Gastronomy - Wine and Olive Oil .

Duration – 1 week 

Circuito do Alentejo capa eng.jpg


Travel: Reguengos Monsaraz »Vila Viçosa: 54 kms

Travel time (expected): 60 minutes.

The Village

Vila Viçosa is a Portuguese village, in the district of Evora, Alentejo region and Central Alentejo sub-region, with 5000 inhabitants.

It is the seat of a municipality with 194.62 km ² and 8319 inhabitants (2011), subdivided into 4 parishes. The municipality is bordered to the north and east by the city of Elvas, south by Alandroal, west by Redondo and northwest by Borba.

In Vila Viçosa remained the Dukes of Bragança for several centuries until the Proclamation of the Republic their properties and the magnificent Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa.

It is in Vila Viçosa which is the original image of Our Lady of Conception, patroness and queen of Portugal, at the National Shrine.

Vila Viçosa was occupied successively by the Romans and Muslims. It won for the kingdom of Portugal in 1217, during the reign of Alfonso II. In 1270 receives charter of King Afonso III, seeing his name changed Valley Viçoso to Vila Viçosa. The charter is quite identical to Monsaraz, Estremoz and Santarém, giving great advantages in Vila Viçosa. In the fourteenth century, D. Dinis erect Vila Viçosa Castle.

In Crisis of 1383-1385, the chief commander of the Order of Avis, Porcalho Vasco, betrayed and, siding with Castile, took possession of Vila Viçosa with two hundred and fifty men and their two hundred Spaniards, forcing the population to flee to Borba. A year and a few months later, in the stampede that followed the Battle of Aljubarrota, Porcalho Vasco and their host either left the village or the castle. Vila Viçosa in 1461 became part of the Duchy of Bragança. In 1500, James I of Braganza was invited to return to the court by King Manuel I, being returned to him the titles and the Duchy of land. In 1502 with the start of construction of the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa, Viçosa village became the seat of the Duchy of Bragança. In 1512, Vila Viçosa receives its charter by King Manuel I.

During the Philippine area, Vila Viçosa, was home to the largest ducal court of the Iberian Peninsula. In 1640 a group of conspirators convinced the then John II, Duke of Braganza to accept the throne of Portugal, becoming the December 1, 1640, John IV (1640-1656) initiating the dynasty of Bragança. From this date, Vila Viçosa, lost glow and became the royal residence of vacation. In 1646, John IV of Portugal offered the crown of Portugal to Our Lady of Conception as thanks for the good campaign of the War of Restoration, becoming Immaculate Conception, Queen and Patroness of Portugal. As of this date, no more King of Portugal wore the crown.

In 1755, Vila Viçosa was badly shaken by the earthquake of 1755. In the early 19th century, Vila Viçosa was looted during the Napoleonic wars.

With the proclamation of the Republic on 5 October 1910, Vila Viçosa fell into decay due to the objective of Republicans to erase all traces of the monarchy. However, in the 1930s, with the exploitation of marble (Marble Estremoz) and opening of Vila Viçosa Ducal Palace for tourism, Vila Viçosa began to change until the present day. Today, as with many Alentejo cities, its population is decreasing, whose principal factor is the emigration to other regions of Portugal or abroad.


Castelo de Vila Viçosa (Castle Vila Viçosa)

Vila Viçosa the center stands the towering medieval castle, ordered the construction of D. Dinis in the last decade of the 13th century.

In 1461, when Ferdinand I received the ducal chair, until the inauguration of the Ducal Palace, this national monument was the residence of Bragança.

The old medieval fortress retained its traces to the early 16th century when the Dukes D. James I and D. Theodosius I built following the Italian models of overseas markets, the tough scorer castle.

The restructuring of the castle at the time of the Restoration Wars, was due to the strategic position that the village had for Castile.

The square plan, with two turrets on opposing angles, the compact look and innovative defense mechanisms - mine galleries and fortified gunboats for crossfire - are unique features that make this castle one of the jewels of our military architecture.

Inside the fortress, the Solar Patroness of Portugal is mandatory stop and even at the adjoining cemetery lie the remains of the poet Calipolense Florbela Espanca.

Finally, inside the castle fortress visitors can discover the Museums of Hunting and Archaeology.

The climb the walls offers a wide view of the city limits of Vila Viçosa and a unique perspective on the real illustrated postcard with the Benedict Avenue of Jesus Caraga and the Republic Square, filled with green orange, toast outsiders.


castelo vila viçosa.jpg


Museu da Arqueologia (Museum of Archaeology)

The ground floor of the citadel of the military fortress hosts, since 1999, a valuable core of archaeological pieces from different eras, presented chronologically and of which highlights a rich booty of Roman pieces found in the region, as well as some archaeological artefacts from the personal collection of King Louis I. During the visit does not miss the opportunity to enjoy a marble statue of the former Callipole.


museu arqueologia.jpg


Palácio Ducal (Ducal Palace)

The Ducal Palace is one of the most emblematic monuments of Vila Viçosa. Its construction started in 1501 by King Jaime, fourth Duke of Bragança, but the works that earned him the greatness and characteristics that we know today continued up the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The 110 meters long of mannerist style facade, fully lined marble of the region, make this magnificent royal palace a unique example in the Portuguese civil architecture where estadiaram personalities of great national and international projection.

Permanent residence of the first family of the national nobility, the Ducal Palace now, with the rise in 1640 of the House of Braganza to the throne of Portugal, to be just one of the rooms around the kingdom. During the reigns of Louis D. and D. Carlos frequent visits to the Ducal Palace, are included watching up, throughout the 19th century, the rehabilitation works aimed to offer greater comfort to the royal family during the annual venatórias excursions.

The establishment of the Republic in 1910 led to the closure of the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa that, by the express will and testament by King Manuel II, reopens doors in the 40s of the 20th century, after the creation of the House of Bragança Foundation.


palacio ducal.jpg


Santuário de Nossa Sra. da Conceição (Shrine of Our Lady. Da Conceição)

The Vila Viçosa parish church stands on the site where the Constable Nuno Alvares Pereira, first owner of the village and today are Nuno de Santa Maria, had built the chapel of Santa Maria do Castelo.

The Solar Patroness of Portugal is located inside the walled about the castle and its facade features clean lines, resulting from subsequent renovations earthquake of 1755 and changes in the late 19th century.

The interior is divided into three naves, supported by strong Doric columns in marble of the region. The walls are covered with polychrome tiles, introduced by the Dukes D. Theodosius II and John II (future King John IV).

In the chancel venerates the image of Our Lady of Conception, protected by railings of white silver hinges and flanked by two sixteenth-century screens - from the Chagas Convent - depicting the Resurrection and the Apparition of Christ to the Virgin.

One of the side walls can be seen the Portuguese flag - embroidered silk banner with national weapons - which preserves the memory of the victory in the Battle of Montes Claros.

In 1646, John IV - King Restorer - dedicated to Our Lady of Conception the kingdom of Portugal, proclaiming the queen and the nation's patron saint. Since then, this is a place of great devotion dedicated to Marian devotion.

Every year on December 8, is celebrated here the feast of the Immaculate Conception and, across the country, arriving faithful and devotees to attend splendid celebrations in honor of Our Lady, patroness of Portugal.



Museu do Mármore (Marble Museum)

Doors open since 2000, in the old station of the railways, the Marble Museum brings together in one place the fundamental and important aspects of mining and manufacturing.

From mining to processing of marble, through the presentation of objects and tools used, this small museum offers the visitor precious information about the past and the present of an activity dating back to Roman times, when they refer to the first traces of marble mining in our region.

On this trip to the world of stone discover the rich natural and geological heritage brand, for many years, the social, economic and industrial municipality of Vila Viçosa.


museu marmore.jpg


Convento e Igreja dos Agostinhos (Convent and Church of the Augustinians)

In front of the Ducal Palace comes the Convent and Church of the Augustinians, whose construction began in 1267, during the reign of King Afonso III, under the invocation of Our Lady of Grace. Delivered to the Order of Hermits Shoes this was the first convent to be established in Vila Viçosa.

At the start of construction of the Ducal Palace (1501), the convent was restructured by King Jaime, fourth Duke of Bragança, and the façade was facing the Palace Square.

The church, of baroque style, became, from 1677, in the Pantheon of the memory of the Dukes of Bragança, welcoming inside the tomb of the first Duke of Bragança - Afonso, classified national monument since 1910.


Convento e Igreja dos Agostinhos.jpg




Discover the Alentejo gastronomy is certainly a pleasure. Inspired by the Mediterranean trilogy - bread, olive oil and wine - combined with metallurgical iron and potter's wheel offset, communities that existed here associated herbs to other products of the earth and rooted your diet. Over time and with the changes affecting agriculture, also how to eat was transformed and arises cooking.

The heritage of scheduled revenue is indescribable. Within a few kilometers to the same recipe have several versions according to the local products. As an example, appears to us the bread soup. Although the base is olive oil, herbs and bread, its accompaniments vary according to season and areas. One can eat açordas with olives, with cod with grilled sardines, with hake with clams, with fried fish, and eggs, with figs, with grapes.



 (Filhós - donuts)

Typical dishes


Sopas de cação, de tomate, da panela, de batata, de beldroegas (Soups cation of tomato, pan, potato, purslane)

Gaspacho frio (Gazpacho cold)

Açorda quente com ovos (Hot Açorda with eggs)


Migas alentejanas com entrecostno frito (Migas the Alentejo with fried spare ribs)

Ensopado de Borrego (Lamb stew)

Borrego assado (lamb roast)

Cozido a alentejano (Cooked to Alentejo)


Bacalhau ou sardinhas assadas (Cod or grilled sardines)














Roquevale SA

Mont Blanc

7170-110 ROUND

Producer of Alentejo Wine

Wine production

On September 9, 1983 was set up Roquevale, Agricultural Society of Herdade da Madeira Lda., Following the existence of an irregular, family company, working in Redondo municipality since 1970.

The Roquevale of farming was, for some years, diversified. Of note, in addition to the vineyard culture, cereal production and livestock (sheep).

In the late 80s, there was the option to abandon all other activities, and the last company to devote himself only to viticulture.

In 1989 a winery was built in the Mont Blanc.

Environment / landscape in which it operates:

Nestled at the foot of the Serra d'Ossa, the Roquevale is part of the wine region of Redondo, currently, one of the eight sub-regions of the Controlled Denomination of Origin (DOC) Alentejo. Despite having white wines of excellent quality, are still the red wine that make this area one of the most prestigious in Portugal.

Special features of the vineyard:

The two farms owned by the company are Mont Blanc, with granitic soils, mainly directed to the production of white grapes and the Wood Estate New Up, with red shale soils, dedicated to the production of grapes. The total vineyard area is around 185 hectares, 80% of grapes and the rest of white grape varieties.

In the cellar, and small investments, punctual and consecutive major expansion projects occurred in 1991/1992, in 1996/1997 and 2002/2003.

The Roquevale was well equipped with the structures essential to its activity, the level of production, quality control, bottling, storage, wine aging and environmental protection.




Herdade da Madeira Velha Agro Alimentar Lda. (Homestead Old Wood Agro Food Lda.)

Rua São Pedro

7100-315 Évora HILL

Wine production

It silences the Alentejo landscape, the mysteries of their land and the commitment of its people is born a new wine project: the estate of the Old Wood, Agro Food, Lda (HMV)..

Heiress and make wine tradition and graced by the richness of the grapes that make the Alentejo a region of excellence, quality and accuracy, the company intends to give added value to the market. Make a pledge between tradition and innovation, with an exporting vocation, without losing sight of a reference position in the Portuguese market.

Located in the district of Évora, cradle of the roots of Alentejo since pre historic times, his ambition is to become a symbol of the Alentejo in the world.

The winery project HMV took shape in early 2010, but the source is located in 2001. In that year Rui Pedro Pinheiro acquired the property that today gives the company its name and began developing the agricultural and livestock activity by Sagupi , which still keeps. This company is a reference in the production of calves meat and pork Alentejo, which is to a large chain of food distribution and Spanish industry.

Sign in agri-food sector has always been a goal of the project and this was the HMV created. The opportunity came in 2010 with the purchase of three brands of wine existing and highly appreciated in English and Swiss markets: Canto X, Canto V and Zéfyro. These marks were descendants owned the Reynolds family, who came to Portugal in 1820 to develop the cork trade. They were also owners of Camões Hall, which is in the possession of the family for six generations.

The name of the estate is a reference to the poet Luís de Camões which, according to legend, lived on site, in 1548. When the project HMV also joined up the winemaker Louis Bourbon and the management of quality Sofia Nogueiro. In total, the partners hold more than 900 hectares of land

Herdade da Madeira Velha Agro Alimentar.jpg


to be continued...

Post by: António Duro

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