Medieval Monsaraz

Along the spanish border, we drove around the Alqueva Reservoir until we reached the town of Monsaraz which has a castle on a prominent hill and a city wall completely surrounding the town.

Monsaraz is one of the oldest historic towns in the Alentejo region and very well preserved with wonderful little streets, cobbled with a special stone. The houses are all whitewashed and either still lived in or turned into tourist accommodation.

Alqueva dam with its many islands
Sunset from the castle of Monsaraz

The castle has the typical keep and a square inside which was converted into a bull fight arena at some period. I read that it is still used for this purpose sometimes. It makes this castle special.

The keep
Getting dark in Monsaraz

After we had walked through all the cobbled streets in this quaint little town, we decided on a restaurant where it seemed that all the locals go. The menu wasn’t very helpful but the host was and we ordered cod and pork from the region. To wash that down we had a bottle of white Vinho Verde from the region, a typical Portugese young wine which is light and fresh.

what is your choice? (menu written by a doctor 😉
typical sheep cheese of this region

Luckily we only had a short walk back to our camper, which we easily managed despite the uneven cobbled alleys 😉

Caravan parking just outside the city wall
The next morning, we strolled through town again and visited the museum about the jewish population.  Monsaraz is famous for its handwoven blankets from sheep’s wool. We admired the colours and patterns and couldn’t resist to buy something so we ended up with a little carpet for our camper!
It was a beautiful day again so we had fresh orange juice at a little bar in front of the castle before we finally left this charming little town.
Flower of the day

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