The reason

Why is Alcáçovas a Place of Peace

Paço dos Henriques (Henriques’s Palace), which is now owned by the Portuguese State and has been classified as a Building of Public Interest since 1993, belonged to the last lords of the town of Alcáçovas. According to tradition and local belief, this was once a royal palace, Ordered to be built by the Portuguese king Dom Dinis.

This is a Place of Peace because it was there that took place the signature of the Alcáçovas-Toledo Treaty (also known as Alcáçovas’s Peace), that ended the Sucession War of Castile (1475-1479), where Afonso V of Portugal renounced the throne of Castile and King Fernando of Castile renounced the throne of Portugal. This Treaty also solved some issues related with the “new lands” discovered in the Atlantic Ocean, dividing them formally between Portugal and Castile.

This explains the reason why this building is so important and emblematic, not only for Alcáçovas’ history, but for Portugal and the rest of the world.

Visit Henriques’s Palace.

This is a Place of Peace because it was there that took place the signature of the Alcáçovas-Toledo Treaty (also known as Alcáçovas’s Peace), that ended the Sucession War of Castile (1475-1479), where Afonso V of Portugal renounced the throne of Castile and King Fernando of Castile renounced the throne of Portugal. This Treaty also solved some issues related with the “new lands” discovered in the Atlantic Ocean, dividing them formally between Portugal and Castile.

Discover a garden of seashells.

The Nossa Senhora da Conceição Chapel (Our Lady of the Conception) – originally dedicated to St. Jerome – and the walled garden, known locally as the “Garden Of Seashells”, retains their original architectural configuration and artistic decoration, which dates back to the early 17th Century. The garden features a hydraulic system, which ensured that fresh water was always available, and the extensive use of seashell mosaic, a highly fashionable decorative technique in Portugal at the time of its construction.

Admire the architecture of the Parish Church.

The Parish Church of São Salvador in Alcáçovas, dates of the 16th century (1530-1535) and has its origin in the chapel of the old castle (circa 1308). Classified as a Property of Public Interest, this church is where we can visit the Henriques’s Pantheon and enjoy a set of four wooden carved lions that came from India, offered by Vasco da Gama to the Lord of Alcáçovas.

This temple-hall style church is an excellent example of the coexistence between the Renaissance and the Baroque styles. It has four side chapels, a baptistery and a main chapel, on the top of which we can observe the heraldic symbols of the benefactors of the construction of the building.

How to arrive

Location

The Henriques’s Palace is located in the Praça da República (República’s square) in the village of Alcáçovas, Alentejo region.

Alcáçovas is one of the villages that belongs to the Municipality of Viana do Alentejo, bounded to the north by the municipality of Montemor-o-Novo, to the northeast by Évora, to the east by Portel, to the southeast by Cuba, to the south by Alvito and to the southwest and west by Alcácer do Sal. The Municipality of Viana do Alentejo occupies an area of about 393.67 Km2, 5 743 inhabitants (Census of 2011) and subdivided into three parishes (Viana do Alentejo, Aguiar and Alcáçovas).

By road from Lisboa – 128 Km (1h41m average time):
Due to its geographical position within the city of Lisbon, you can choose the 25 de Abril Bridge (A2) or the Vasco da Gama Bridge (A12). If you choose the Vasco da Gama Bridge, after about 40 km, you will have to change to A2 (not heading towards Setúbal). A little further ahead (20 km) you have to leave the A2 and take the A6 towards Évora. After 59 km on the A6, take the exit for Évora and follow another 12 km on the N114 until you reach the city. Finally, take the N380 towards the village of Alcáçovas.

By road from Spain (Badajoz) – 134 Km (1h36m longest travel time):
Follow the A6 for 83 km after the border. At the sign for Évora, you have to exit the expressway and do the remaining 10 km by the IP2. When you get to Évora take the exit for the N380 toward Alcáçovas.

By road from North (Porto) – 407 Km (3h43m average time duration):
With the opening of the A13, link between Almeirim and the A2 / A6 junction at Marateca, it is no longer necessary to cross Lisbon to travel from the north of the country to Évora by expressway. In fact, at the exit of the A1 from Santarém you should follow to the IC10 and, later, near Almeirim, to the A13. At the Marateca junction, turn onto the A6 towards Évora and then follow the N380 exit to Alcáçovas

What to Eat

Discover the delicacies of Alcáçovas

Eating in Alcáçovas is always a pleasure. Our gastronomy is an appreciation of the cultural heritage, not only of our village but of the entire Alentejo region.  Its through it’s  promotion that our restaurants make our local dishes and custom flavours cross borders. It is our belief that the flavors of Alcáçovas and the Alentejo can reach other countries, thus becoming international in taste and culture.

As a traditional Alentejano dish, we have the Cabidela Rice (Rice cooked in blood). Some of the ingredients of this recipe are: turkey blood and some offal, onions, bay leaves, parsley, olive oil, white wine, salt and pepper. Please notice that the way to cook this dish varies from village to village. Nevertheless, it is a 100% characteristic dish from Alentejo.

In Alentejo, There is no vegetable with more names than this kind of pumpkin: pumpkin, girl, porridge, mogango among others. In Alcáçovas they call it “bogango”! But what really matters is that with this type of pumpkin is the culinary basis of one of the most characteristic soups of the Alentejo, the Sopa de Mogango (Mogango Soup). Besides the pumpkin, the recipe includes beans, garlic, coriander, olive oil and salt.

Sopa de Tomate (Tomato soup) is also a dish that is very characteristic to us, cooked essentially in the height of winter, in the period of the harvesting of the tomato. The recipe also includes onion, garlic, olive oil and bay leaf, ripe tomatoes, water, salt, eggs, white potatoes, green or red peppers and codfish. It is to be served with slices of bred.

Migas de espargos (Migas of Asparagus), a dish so tasty and so ours, made from a base of bread crums. So ours because only cooked with the Alentejo’s bread it reaches the original taste, texture and flavour of the Alentejo region. The dish is cooked with garlic, olive oil and asparagus. Just add the bread and stir until it has the desired texture. It is always accompanied with deep fried pork and oranges.

Cozido à portuguesa (Portuguese traditional stew) is a very usual dish in Alentejo. The recipe includes a variety of cooked meats, including pork ear, sparkle, bacon, pork tail, sausage, chicken and some beef. In the water where the meat is cooked, all the vegetables are cooked to taste: green beans, white or sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, among others. It is served with bread soups and mint leaves.

Things to Do

Be active around Alcáçovas

  • Discover a garden of Seashells

  • Ring a cowbell

  • Enjoy the view from the highest point

  • The Jardim das Conchas (Garden Of Seashells), retains its original architectural configuration and artistic decoration, which dates back to the early 17th Century. It features a hydraulic system, which ensured that fresh water was always available, and the extensive use of seashell mosaic, a highly fashionable decorative technique in Portugal at the time of its construction.
  • All around the village, the art of making cowbells is present: factories, handicraft shops and museums in Alcáçovas is a direct result from the encounter of the ancient arts of fire with musical art. Each cowbell is the product of a manual work, the shaping of an iron plate, to be more exact. There are several types of cowbells, depending on the animal that’s supposed to wear it on the neck: sheep, pigs, goats and cows.
  • You can find the Convento da Boa Esperança (Convent of Our Lady of Hope), dated back to 1541, in the highest point of Alcáçovas, just 2km from the town. The land was donated by the lord of the village of Alcáçovas, D. Fernando Henriques, to a religious community who never surpassed the 12 individuals and who, in the early years, were devoted to Nossa Senhora da Graça (Our Lady of Grace).

Where to Stay

Relax after the visit

Casa Santos Murteira

Casa Santos Murteira is located in Alcáçovas – Portugal. It has 6 rooms with typical rustic decoration of the Alentejo region: from the colors of the walls to the decoration of the furniture of the rooms but without neglecting the comfort of the present day. The Casa Santos Murteira has a beautiful living room and breakfast and a fabulous outdoor pool reserved from outdoor views.

Location
Rua de São Pedro, 70
7090-041 Alcáçovas

Contact Info
Phone:  +351 266 948 220
Mobile: +351 968 221 493
E-Mail: casasantosmurteira@gmail.com
Internet: santosmurteira.com

Monte do Sobral

Located near the village of Viana do Alentejo, Monte Do Sobral is the site of the 1st meeting of the Captains of April (which originated the Revolution that brought freedom and democracy to Portugal – 25 de Abril Revolution). It offers rustic-style accommodation with wooden ceilings, a wood-burning stove and cowhide rugs.

Location
Estrada Nacional Alcáçovas – Viana Do Alentejo
7090-041 Alcáçovas

Contact Info
Mobile: +351 936 236 989
E-Mail: montesobral@iol.pt
Internet: montedosobral.com

Herdade da Mata

The Country House of Herdade da Mata, a typical Alentejo house, houses six adults, has three bedrooms with two single beds and a private bathroom with shower each. Children’s cots can be added if needed. The cozy living room has a well-equipped kitchenette. For the cooler winter evenings there is a fireplace and central heating. From the porch guests can enjoy the landscape of the Herdade da Mata overlooking the dam and has direct access to the pool. In advance you can order picnic baskets as well as small meals.

Location
Alcáçovas

Contact Info
Phone: +351 266 949 011
Mobile: +351 917 643 600
E-Mail: gbtmata@me.com
Website: herdade-da-mata.com

Monte da Cabeça Gorda

Located in Alcáçovas a few kilometers from Alcácer do Sal and Évora. The perfect place to enjoy the tranquility and calm of the Alentejo.

Price
€138

Location
Alcáçovas

Contact Info
Mobile:  +351 926 126 534
E-Mail: info@montedacabecagorda.com
Internet: montedacabecagorda.com

Monte da Burquilheira

Country House located in the historic village of Alcáçovas, in the county of Viana do Alentejo, where in addition to agriculture, you can enjoy horseback riding with our eyes set on our fields Alentejo!

Price
€90

Location
Alcáçovas

Contact Info
Mobile: +351 917 027 210
E-Mail: montedaburquilheira@gmail.com
Internet: facebook.com/pg/HerdadeDaBurquilheira

Useful Information

Take note of this importante piece of data

  • Address

    Junta de Freguesia de Alcáçovas
    Praça da República, 9
    7090-026 Alcáçovas

    Câmara Municipal de Viana do Alentejo
    Rua Brito Camacho, 13
    7090-237 Viana do Alentejo

  • Phone

    Alcáçovas: +351 266 954 181
    Viana do Alentejo: +351 266 930 010