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Discover Alvito in the Alentejo Region of Portugal

Oct 10, 2007
The little country town of Alvito, 10 km. south of Viana do Alentejo, boasts a parish church with magnificent 17th C. azulejo decoration and a fine fortified castle (15th C.) built by the Marques of Alvito. The castle has recently been converted into a pousada.

There are local festas (festivals) in the town of Alvito on the last Sunday of August and again on 1 and 2 of November.

These festas are usually accompanied by letting off many rockets which were used before the days of watches to summon the people to the processions or the festivities.

In the area are nature trails. Excursions by bicycle, horse or canoe can be arranged.

A pleasant place to visit is the Barragem do Alvito where the cool waters of the dam make a pleasant contrast to the Alentejo plains.

A brief History:

The oldest known human traces in the Council area date back to the Neolithic period, with vestiges that, bear witness to the presence of humankind during the Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages. Intensive occupation came about with the Romans, soon after the beginning of the 1 st Century AD, with various remains, such as the villas of S. Romao, S. Francisco and Malk Abraao, a testament to their presence. In 1251 the settlement was given to D. Estevao Anes, the Principal Charncellor of the kingdom, by King Afonso III and by the Pestanas of Evora.

From this date began an increase in the number of inhabitants, particularly under the influence of the Chancellor, providing Alvito with a considerable population for the period. In 1279, D, Estevao Anes died, bequeathing the town to the Order of the Holy Trinity, providing with its charter was ratified King Dirism in 1283. In 1357, King Joao I gave Alvito to D. Diogo Lobo in reward for the services he provided in the battle of Aljuba55ota (1385) and inconquering Evora from the Spanish (1387). The town was associated with the history of this family throughout the whole period of the monarchy.

On 24th April 1475, King Afonso V awarded the title of Baron to DR. Joao Fernandes da Silveira, husband of D. Maria de Sousa Lobo, making Alvito the seat of the first barony instituted in Portugal.

Come and visit the Feira dos Santos/ Frutos Secos (Fair of the Saints/of dried fruits and 11 This is the final fair to take place each year in the Alentejo region. Its intense commercial activity contributed greatly to the enormous prestige enjoyed by the region as a whole.

At a time when most fairs have gradually been transformed into centries simply for pleasure and entertainment, the Feira dos Santos / Frutos Secos, as well as having these characteristics, combines a commercial focus with place to meet friends, as is year after year.

Dried fruit and nuts, clothing, agricultural Implements and machinery and articles for the home are examples of the commercial focus that characterises the Feira dos Santos, and brings thousands of people to Alvito during the fair from all over the country. At the same time, there has also been a major commitment to providing the fair with cultural and traditional activities which are worthy of its great prestige.

So, visiting the Feira dos Santos / Frutos Secos is a "must", and the best way to get to know Alvito, its beauty and its heritage.
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Alentejo Home is the Real Estate specialist in the Alentejo region of Portugal between Lisbon and the Algarve. Find out how we can make your dream come true at >Alentejo Home Real Estate
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