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

Duration – 1 week 

Circuito do Alentejo capa eng.jpg


Travel: Estremoz »Arraiolos: 41 kms

Travel time (expected): 60 minutes.

The Village

The foundation of Arraiolos to Sabine, Tusculanos and Alban, who were occupants of Évora before Sertorius and gave the government of Arraiolos to Rayeo captain, Greek name.

From this name seems to have then derived the name of our village, as the Rayeo name has been calling Rayolis, Rayeopolis, Arrayolos and today Arraiolos.

However, it is in 1217 with the granting of Arraiolos term by King Alfonso II, the Bishop of Évora D. Soeiro and to the chapter of the Cathedral of the same city, which begins a new chapter in our history.

In 1290, Arraiolos receives the 1st Foral, D. Dinis, and the same monarch orders the building the castle in 1305, and on 26 December 1305 the Council represented by João Anes and Martim Fernandes, accorded with the King the contract for its construction.

Arraiolos County was Nuno Alvares Pereira - 2nd Earl of Arraiolos - from the year 1387. Before taking the Carmo Convent in Lisbon, the kingdom Constable, remained here long periods of his life.

In 1511 gets new Register of D. Manuel.

Over the years there have been many changes in their territory, and administrative boundaries defined from 1736, suffered, however, several changes:

- Inclusion in the district of Evora (1835); Annexation of Vimieiro municipality (1855); Annexation of the municipality of Mora (1895); detaching the municipality of Mora (1898).

Situated in the south interior, the vast Alentejo region, Arraiolos is today a municipality with 684,08Km2, for a population of 7616 inhabitants (census 2001) spread over 7 parishes: Arraiolos Vimieiro, small church, St. Peter's Gafanhoeira, elderberry, S. Gregory and Santa Justa.

ARRAIOLOS LAND OF CARPETS is still the centuries of history of hand embroidery by generations of embroiderers who did come to the present day our most genuine handicraft the "Arraiolos Carpet".

The earliest written reference that today is known is in the inventory of Catarina Rodrigues, the wife of João Lourenço, farmer and resident in Bolelos Homestead, term of Arraiolos, where, by the year 1598, describes the existence of a tera carpet avalliado new mill, in two Kings.

One is still the archaeological excavations in the Lima Square and Brito at the beginning of the 21st Century, under the responsibility of the archaeologist Ana Gonçalves, without prejudice to a more detailed investigation, induce the start of production of carpets in Arraiolos to a previous phase to 15th century.

The county, along with the wealth of its landscape, holds a vast built heritage that the City Council has sought to preserve and enhance.


Castle Arraiolos

Arraiolos Castle, also known as Palace of Mayors, located in the village, parish and municipality of Arraiolos, in the district of Evora, Portugal. Stands out as one of the rare plant circular castles in the world.


The early human occupation of the rocky hill known as Mount St. Peter, north of Arraiolos, is attested by some quartz firing pins and prehistoric copper ax, found during archaeological prospection in the castle fortress, currently in Évora Museum.

It is believed that the settlement has been formed itself around 300 BC

The fortification idea of this location dates back to the homestead called donation of Arraiolos made by Alfonso II (1211-1223) to D. Soeiro, Bishop of Évora, with permission for it to arise a castle (1217).

With the density of population, a new determination to raising a defense dates back to an agreement signed between King Dinis (1279-1325), the Mayor, the Judges and the Municipality of Arraiolos Village (1305), which stipulated the obligation to rise, around the village, "207 fathoms wall, three fathoms high and wide to fathom, and to do in said wall Dous portaes Darco with their doors, and Dous square cubellos in each door ".

These works were started in 1306, with a budget of 2,000 pounds granted by the monarch, and traces of authorship of John Simon. Thus, in 1310, the year in which the sovereign confirmed a charter, (...) the work was ready bricks and mortar and good defense, built a lot of conical shape, high on all neighbors and picturesquely crowned, at the apex, the ancient Church of the Savior Mother.

The castle began to suffer abandonment from the 14th century, because it is a windy place, cold, reputed as unpleasant to live. King Ferdinand (1367-1383) tried to remedy this situation by granting special privileges to its inhabitants (1371). These measures, however, proved useless, because not close the doors at night, depriving the sacraments residents out, managed to prevent the depopulation of fortification.

After the outcome of the 1383-1385 crisis, the areas of the town and its castle were donated to Constable D. Nuno Alvares Pereira (1387), awarded the title of Earl of Arraiolos. Between 1385 and 1390, here left several military expeditions against the Constable Castile.

16th century to the present day

At the end of the 16th century the castle was still inhabited, closing every night by the bell signal (1599). At that time a large number of new homes have spread to nearby slopes. In the early 17th century, however, was already naked, looking at their building materials were looted and harboring a corral on your Patio de Armas.

In 1613 the castle and its buildings were in an advanced state of disrepair, as complaints from officials of the City Council at the time.

At the time of the Restoration of Portugal's independence, under the reign of King John IV (1640-1656), the wall of the town and its castle received refurbishment works by strategic needs (1640). A few years later, in 1655, the castle returned to present ruin, with fallen Barbican, the Watchtower split and abandoned, and the Palace of Mayors uninhabitable.

A century later, the 1755 earthquake increased the damage you.

In the 19th century, its Patio de Armas served as a graveyard for cholera victims morbus in the region (1833).

In the early 20th century was a National Monument by Decree published on 23 June 1910. In the period from 1959 to 1963, the castle and the walls of Arraiolos, were partially restored by the Directorate General for National Buildings and Monuments (DGEMN ).

The set, made by the Mayors Hall of fortification and the surrounding walls, has square plan, with elements of Romanesque and Gothic style.

Built in the north section of the wall, the Palace of Mayors, of square plan, is dominated by the castle keep. This is internally divided into four floors, topped by adarve protected by merlons. Articulates the east side with the houses of the guard, towering at the door of the Plaza de Armas, and the west, with the palatial hotels.

The solid wall crenellated, broad and regular time describing an ellipsoid shape, is now well maintained. It formed part originally two doors:

  • The Village Gate (or the Barbican), the South, today reduced to a large opening in the wall; and
  • Port of Santarem, the Northwest, in Gothic style, flanked by two turrets or towers.

Still seems to have been a false door or hatch on the east side, where the wall has some ruin.

The Clock Tower, enriched with aspire to the time of King Manuel (1495-1521), seems to be one of the turrets of the old port Barbican, with the other supplied by the great keep.

It stands in the castle parade ground, the Church of the Savior.

A local tradition says that there is a secret underground passage connecting the castle in the Convent of Our Lady of the Assumption (Convent Lóios).

castelo Arraiolos1.jpg



Pelourinho de Arraiolos (Pillory Arraiolos)

Situated in Lima and Brito square. Consisting of a marble shaft, prismatic and spiraled after the ring. At the top has a capital which leaves four iron arms with rings.


Convento dos Lóios / Igreja Nossa Senhora da Assunçao (Lóios Convent / Church of Our Lady of the Assumption)

Construction of the 16th century and is characterized by the coexistence of architectural and decorative styles. In the church dominates the Manuel-Mudejar style and the convent is used the Baroque. Monument was founded by Saint Eloi order and is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption.



Monument to the tapestry maker in Arraiolos

Built in Republic Square sculpture honors the main regional product Arraiolos: carpets. Known across the country, this tapestry is characterized by being embroidered with wool on a jute fabric, cotton or linen.

The Interpretive Center Arraiolos Carpet is a permanent museum space and to community service, whose mission is to promote the study and dissemination of Arraiolos carpet, as well as its conservation, protection, recovery and recognition as historical, artistic and ethnographic, both in its present tangible and intangible.

Museum institution of municipal protection, it is assumed as a center for the dissemination and study of areas of Ethnography, History and Ornamental Arts which aims to establish and promote relations with different audiences and communities, and the carpet of Arraiolos the starting point and arrival a trip by art and Portuguese feature crafts.

The Interpretive Center Arraiolos Carpet is the result of reflection in which it was intended to link the history, origins and influences of Arraiolos carpet, its artisanal production process, their techniques and materials, its actors and holders and present the developmental profile of Arraiolos carpet over the centuries. His artistic evolution, material and technique.

Reported to the territory and the social environment in which it operates, the Interpretation Centre of Arraiolos Carpet is assumed as an essential tool with regard to the preservation, enhancement and safeguarding of Arraiolos carpet and is a means of promotion and defense of a set of cultural objects for generations contributed to the construction and transmission of collective memory Arraiolense people.






With its aromas and traditional flavors, accompanied by our wine varieties selected by the convent sweets, the cheese and the honey, Arraiolense and Alentejo cuisine is something which makes you want to know.

Assuming its socio-cultural and economic importance, gastronomy is an integral part of the tourism quality that Arraiolos wants to give.

The dishes of "Pig", of "Borrego", of "calf", the "Soups Alentejo", the "açordas" and "migas" highlight the diversity of our cuisine, linked to rural areas, preserved, with all its cultural importance, representing a contribution to developing and promoting the rich heritage of our county and enhance our capabilities in tourism.



 (Pastéis toucinho de Arraiolos - Bacon crayons Arraiolos)


Typical dishes


Açorda de bacalhjau com ovos (Cod with egg Açorda)

Poejada de bacalhau com ovo escalfado (Poejada cod with poached egg)

Sopa de tomates com enchidos e ovo escalfado (Tomato soup with sausages and poached egg)


Migas de espargos (Creamed asparagus)

Migas de batatas (Potato Migas)

Migas de broa de milho com couve (Creamed corn bread with cabbage)

Migas de tomate com secretos (Tomato Migas with Secret)


Migas de Bacalhau no tarro com gambas e ovo picadinho (Cod Migas in jar with prawns and chopped egg)


Pastéis toucinho de Arraiolos (Bacon crayons Arraiolos)





Adega das Mouras de Arraiolos Lda (Cellar of Moorish Arraiolos Lda.)

Monte Mouras, St. Gregory


Wine production

The Cellar draft of the Moorish began in 2000 with the purchase of land by a businessman from Lisbon, Henrique Neves dos Santos.

The estate has a total of more than 300 hectares and is a large part under vines. The estate has a veritable sea of vines over 226ha. We have one of the three largest continuous vineyards of Europe, which was completed between 2004-2005. Older strains are 2002, the year he began planting the vineyard we have today. Between 2000 and 2002 tore up came to grape production table that already existed there and studied the specific terroir cellar of Moorish, in order to prepare the soil for planting wine and decide the varieties named.

The Rosary Colaco master, now deceased, was instrumental in the decisions. The Trincadeira, our Alentejaninha represents 45% of the vineyard, but we still have Aragonez, Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Tinta Caiada, Pinot Noir, Caiada Paint, Tempranillo and Alicante Bouschet as red varieties. As white varieties were chosen exclusively Portuguese 4: Verdelho, Perrum, Antao Vaz and Arinto.


adega moiura arraiolos.jpg


Herdade dos Coelheiros, Soc. Agrícola SA

Lot of Coelheiros | 7040-202 Igreijinha

  1. (+351) 266 470 000
  2. (+ 351) 266 470 008

The Herdade dos Coelheiros is a family owned, with about 800 ha, adherent to the Alentejo Wine Route, undertaking various activities and products derived from cultures of vineyards, olive groves, walnut orchard, mounted and the tourist hunting area, keeping all the Alentejo tradition features.

In perfect communion with nature, the Coelheiros Hill welcomes the visitor providing for a comfortable stay, the experience and knowledge of farming and hunting, tasting the wines of Tapada Coelheiros, Vineyard Tapada Coelheiros and White Almeida and regional gastronomy, guided tours, a picturesque universe and characteristic history of Évora region.

Classic estate of Alentejo: productions park (vineyards, olive groves, walnut orchard and mounted, ponds, dam and springs) and wild park in mounted with big game and black pig.

Traditional vineyards, conducted in bi-lateral cord, not watered.

White varieties and indigenous inks Alentejo (arinto, wardrobe, antão vaz, trincadeira, Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet and Castellan) and foreign (chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and petit verdot)

Modern winery with traditional processes, according to the rigor of Quality Management and Food Security: ISO 9001 and ISO 22000

Stage cellars in oak barrels.

herdade dos coelheiros.jpg


to be continued...

Post by: António Duro

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