Saturday, June 24, 2006

Visiting Aljezur

Aljezur CastleAt the top of the hill, the castle ramparts, symbol of the long struggle between Christians and Moors. A cascade of white houses that almost tumble down the hillside towards the river. Facets of Aljezur, a town, centuries old, that found in the plain that it faces a route to growth and a future.

Aljezur Castle

Erected on a hill overlooking the creek that has been inhabited by man since the Iron Age, the castle send to control the river port that provided a link with the sea and to defend the population from enemy attack.

Built during the period of Arab rule (10th century) it consists of a broad courtyard surrounded by high ramparts reinforced by two towers, one round and the other square. It was badly damaged by the earthquake of 1755. Inside there is a cube-shaped cistern covered by a vault. Its walls afford panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.


The pillory, where criminals were exposed to public scorn, has been rebuilt from 16th century remains.

Misericórdia (Mercy) Church

This church was rebuilt in the 16th century and then again after the earthquake of 1755. It has recently undergone extensive restoration work inside and out. The main doorway is in he Renaissance style. It has a plain Interior, with interesting flags and a fraternity table.

Main church

Built at the end of the 18th century, this church served as the nucleus of the Igreja Nova quarter. Its interior is composed of three naves, with an Imposing main altar. It boasts a fine statue of Nossa Senhora da Alva (Our lady of Daybreak) (18th century) flanked by two 17th century statues, probably taken from the former main church, which was destroyed in 1755. The side chapels contain 17th/18th century retables taken from the former monastery of Nossa Senhoa do Desterro (Our Lack of the Exhile), in Monchíque. There is a baptismal font in the Manuline style (16th century). In the sacristy are crucifixes dating from the 18th/19th centuries. Among items in the church's treasures are a Eucharist box encrusted with mother-of-pearl and a gothic chalice, housed in a 17th century ostensorium.

José Cercas Museum

Canvasses and drawings by the painter Jose Cercas, who was born in Aljezur, and other Portuguese artists, furniture, religious art, porcelain. The small museum garden has an excellent view of the castle, the plain and the town.

Aljezur Municipal Museum

Sited in the building that was once home to the town council, this museum contains archaeological finds that trace the history of human settlement in Aljezur municipality from 7.000 B.C. to the Bronze Age and the Moorish occupation.

Adjoining the museum is the Aljezur Municipal Gallery, which hosts temporary art exhibitions.

Aljezur Historical Centre

In the streets that wind down the slope from the top of the hill crowned by the castle are houses typical of the coral architecture of the Algarve, with the colourful borders known as 'platibandas" painted around windows and along the edges of immaculate whitewashed walls. At the base of the hill is the Fonte das Mentiras (literally the Fountain of Lies), which is associated with the legend (y 'a beautiful Moorish woman and the conquest of the castle.

During your holiday don't forget to visit the most famous and important highlights of the Algarve .Beginning with the Algarve 's capital, located at the sea side Faro, is surrounded by the Ria Formosa, a nature reserve of 17.00 hectares and stopping place for migrating birds. The Faro airport is connecting the Algarve with most European capitals by direct flights and handles several million passengers a year. Drive west and you will arrive to Vilamoura. A special place, an exclusive leisure and recreation resort community where the peace of life is so easy it feels like summer all year round. Driving a few kilometres more, you will get to the centre of the Algarve , Albufeira, acknowledged as one of the main tourist regions of the country. Continuing towards the heart of the sunny Algarve , you will find the small inlet of Carvoeiro protected between high cliffs. A few kilometres ahead, Lagos is our last stop. A Marina presents a lovely picture and the harbour, is the first sight a visitor has. With its relaxed atmosphere and quiet charm, make it one of the most appealing locations in the Algarve to visitors from abroad, an important tourist town there are still many architectural signs of its ancient past.Car Hire in the Algarve at a cheap price, a brand new vehicle and a helpful team to assist you. We suggest the following websites: Algarve Car Hire, Car Hire in the Algarve, Car Hire Portugal, Portugal Car Hire, Car Hire Lisbon, Faro Car Hire, Vilamoura Car Hire, Albufeira Car Hire, Carvoeiro Car Hire, Lagos Car Hire. If you need airport transfer from or to Faro airport check out Algarve Transfers.