Art in the Pousada Santa Maria Flor da Rosa

There was an exhibition of carved figures while we stayed in the pousada, and an installation in the Chapel.

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15-2-21, Portugal Day 2 LR-94

15-2-25 Portugal Day 6 LR-20

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Travel in Portugal, Day 6

15-2-25 Portugal Day 6 LR-1 Continue reading

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Travel in Portugal, Day 5, Avis to Flor da Rosa

We should have lingered, found a café or dining room, but I am restless and so we left Avis on quiet roads to Ponte de Sor.

Between Avis and Ponte de Sor

Between Avis and Ponte de Sor

Sheep under the cork oaks

Sheep under the cork oaks

Galveias is a small settlement between Avis and Ponte de Sor, founded under the protection of the Order of Avis in the 14C. We visited the Church (closed) on top of the hill and found this extraordinary house, but there was no obvious reason to linger, and we drove on to Ponte de Sor for my daily Pasteis de Nata! (I have subsequently found there were Counts of Galveias - perhaps this house belonged to the nobility?)

Suitably fortified, I needed to see the Roman bridge of Vila Formosa over the River Seda, between Ponte de Sor and Alter do Chao. It carried the Roman road linking the cities of Lisbon and Mérida, Spain, and was built c.85 AD, the only bridge until 2010!

The new bridge over the River Seda

The new bridge over the River Seda

The Seda River

The Seda River

The Roman Bridge over the Seda River

The Roman Bridge over the Seda River

The road over the Roman Bridge, Vila Formosa

The road over the Roman Bridge, Vila Formosa

And so back to Flor da Rosa.

You may be interested in Following Hadrian Roman Routeplanner

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Doors in Avis, Portugal

Portugal 2015 Day 5 LR-47

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Travel in Portugal, Day 5, Avis

Avis, like many towns in the Alentejo, probably has pre-historic and Roman roots. It was then controlled by the Moors until retaken by the Portuguese in 1211. The King gave the land to the Friars of Evora with the directive to build a Castle to secure the area. The Military Order of the Knights of St Benedict of Avis, a branch of the Monastery of Evora, was established in Avis under John of Avis, and the castle was built between 1214-23. Some of the walls, with gateways like the impressive Town Gateway, and other gateways, can still be found.

Town Plan, Avis (www.montesdecharme.pt

Town Plan, Avis (www.montesdecharme.pt

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The Town Gateway, Avis

The Town Gateway, Avis

The Rainha Tower, next to the Town Gateway

The Rainha Tower, next to the Town Gateway

And alongside one of the gateways, the Chapel of the Misericordia.

Inside the walls this imposing gateway leads down the high street to a square and the 15C parish church which was closed and so I can’t tell you anymore.

Portugal 2015 Day 3, LR-2-66

Portugal 2015 Day 5 LR-35

Portugal 2015 Day 5 LR-18

Quiet squares and grand mansions attest to the importance of the town.

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John of Avisthe Master of the Order, with the support of Nuno Alvares Pereira (the son of the Founder of the Monastery of Flor da Rosa, and later Constable of Portugal) to decisively defeat the Spanish at the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. In brief, John was crowned King and married Philippa of Lancaster (the connection to England), establishing the House of Avis in control of Portugal for the next two centuries. The Monastery of St Benedict has been restored in part and houses a Municipal Museum. The adjacent building, now used as Municipal Offices, was the house of the Master of the Order.

Portugal 2015 Day 3, LR-2-67

You may be interested in
Tourist information about Portugal
History of Po
rtugal
The stages in Portugal’s history

 

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A quiet road in the Alentejo

A quiet country road took us from Flor da Rosa to Avis.

Between Alter do Chao and Avis

Between Alter do Chao and Avis

Between Alter do Chao and Avis Between Alter do Chao and Avis Between Alter do Chao and Avis Between Alter do Chao and Avis

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Travel in Portugal, Day 4, Crato

The day was unsettled, with dramatic skies over Crato, an extraordinary small town in the Alentejo. The first stop was to see a colony of storks in an abandoned building on the edge of the town.

Portugal 2015 Day 3, LR-2-30 Portugal 2015 Day 3, LR-2-35

In the 13C vast areas of the Alentejo were granted to the Knights Hospitaller (originally the Order of St John of Jerusalem, later The Order of Malta) by King Sancho and in c.1340 Crato became the headquarters of the Order in Portugal, led by a Prior of Crato. The Order also built the nearby Monastery/Castle of Flor da Rosa in the 15C. In 1662 the town was sacked and burned by the Spanish and it never regained its importance.

The Prior's Balcony, the remains of the Prior's Palace, Crato

The Prior’s Balcony, the remains of the Prior’s Palace, Crato

The Monastery/Castle of Flor da Rosa

The Monastery/Castle of Flor da Rosa

The main square in the old town includes the Balcony of the Prior’s Palace (above), the Palace of the Arches (now the Municipal Museum), and the cross below with the Cross of Malta.

The Municipal Museum, Crato

The Palacio Sa Nogueira, The Municipality Offices, Crato

The Municipality offices, Crato, Pacos do Concelho

The Municipal Museum, Crato, Pacos do Concelho

The square of the Prior's Palace Balcony

The square of the Prior’s Palace Balcony

The Pelourinho or Pillory in the square of the Prior's Palace Balcony

The Pelourinho or Pillory in the square of the Prior’s Palace Balcony

 

The Castle must be Mediaeval too, but is closed and apart from this section and some walls it seems as though not much remains. The importance of the site, above the plains, is obvious from the views.

Portugal 2015 Day 3, LR-2-59

Portugal 2015 Day 3, LR-2-62

The Parish Church dates from the 13C but has apparently been considerably altered. On every visit it has been closed!

Narrow streets, hidden manor houses, beautiful doorways and windows abound, as do crests on the walls.

Crato

The Palacio Teixeira Guerra in the town, hidden behind gates

The Palacio Teixeira Guerra in the town, hidden behind gates

The stables of a large mansion in Crato

The stables of a large mansion in Crato

And while in the town visit the Father Belo House Museum, an extraordinary collection of religious artifacts.

You may be interested in
www.visitalentejo.com
Fascinating website with lots of information
Crato – the town site

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The Anta do Tapadao

15-2-22 Portugal Day 3 LR-43Although it had been a long day exploring the Alentejo and Abrantes the light was too beautiful to be indoors. The Anta do Tapadão is on the road between Flor da Rosa and Aldeia da Mata and is a burial mound estimated to be from c.3,000BC. It is an amazing structure, beautiful in any light, or even black and white. The only drawback is the cattle which seem to stand guard at all times!

15-2-22 Portugal Day 3 LR-49

Anta do Tapadao

2011 Portugal LR-138

You may be interested in
The Anta do Tapadão – Interesting article, with photographs
The Anta do Tapadão on a site which is an index of megalithic sites

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Travel in Portugal, Day 4, Walking around Flor da Rosa

After all the driving I needed to walk and so we set off from the pousada for a walk. I took the small camera and did not have a good day, so only small photographs! The walk was lovely – quiet and more of a stroll than a walk. There are waymarks but they are not reliable and on this occasion the tourist office was not particularly helpful.

Countryside around Flor da Rosa

Countryside around Flor da Rosa

Countryside around Flor da Rosa

Countryside around Flor da Rosa

This area used to be pine forest – perhaps these are some of the remaining trees.

Countryside around Flor da Rosa

Countryside around Flor da Rosa

Countryside around Flor da Rosa

Countryside around Flor da Rosa

Flowering grass in the Alentejo

Flowering grass in the Alentejo

Another old bridge outside Flor da Rosa

Another old bridge outside Flor da Rosa

And back to the pousada through the village.

Flor da Rosa main street

Flor da Rosa main street

Holiday accommodation in Flor da Rosa

Holiday accommodation in Flor da Rosa

The pousada, Flor da Rosa

The pousada, Flor da Rosa

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Travel in Portugal, Day 3, Abrantes

The day was clear and we set off to visit Abrantes and enjoy the Alentejo countryside. Continue reading

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