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Portugal Hideaways: Marvão

This post is also available in: Português (Portuguese (Portugal))

Come and visit Marvão, a village located at the highest point of the Serra de São Mamede, between Castelo de Vide and Portalegre, a few kilometers from Spain.

Geographically, Marvão is a natural strategic defense point, marked by very steep slopes to the North, South and West, and with foot access only from the Eastside, where the settlement developed.

This fact was not indifferent to conquerors and kings, who were always concerned with the reinforcement of the castle and the walls. It played a fundamental role in major military conflicts, of which the struggle between King D. Dinis and his brother D. Afonso (1299), the Dynastic Crisis of 1383-85, the Wars of the Restoration of Independence (1640-68) is remembered, the War of the Succession of Spain (1704-12) or the Peninsular Wars (1807-11). The importance of Marvão was recognized when it was elevated to town by D. Sancho II, in 1266. The charter was renewed by D. Dinis, in 1299, and by the Foral Novo de D. Manuel, in 1512, who left his action marked Pelourinho and the royal weapons placed in the building of the Paços do Concelho.

Within the walls, a beautiful set of popular Alentejo architecture is revealed. In the narrow streets of Marvão, you can easily discover Gothic arches, Manueline windows, wrought-iron balconies embellishing the houses and other details of interest in corners marked by local granite.

Of the built heritage, in addition to the castle and the walls that are difficult to forget, the Church of Santa Maria, transformed into the Municipal Museum, the Church of Santiago, the Renaissance Chapel of Espírito Santo and the Convent of Nossa Senhora da Estrela, stand out, outside the walls.

One of the main reasons for visiting the village is the beautiful view over the region. We chose as high viewpoints the Torre de Menagem and the Pousada de Santa Maria, an adaptation of two houses in the village, where you can also rest and taste the regional cuisine.

The Chestnut Festival, which takes place in November, is an excellent opportunity to visit and get to know the local people and customs.

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