Monsaraz, Alentejo

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Monsaraz is a Portuguese parish of the municipality of Reguengos de Monsaraz, with 88.29 km ² of area.

Former seat of county, transferred for the first time in 1838 and definitely in 1851 to the then village of Reguengos de Monsaraz, now city. It is important not to confuse Reguengos de Monsaraz with Monsaraz. They are two distinct localities separated by about 15 kilometers.

The town of Monsaraz was conquered to the Moors, in 1167, by the men of Geraldo Without Awe. The first charter came to be granted by D. Afonso III, on January 15, 1276. The castle of Monsaraz has played over the centuries the role of sentinel of the Guadiana, guarding the border with Castile. The village came to manage three parishes: the Matriz of Santa Maria da Lagoa, Santiago and St. Bartholomew.

It was the county seat until 1838, when this function passed to the parish of Reguengos.

In 2007 Monsaraz was one of the finalists in the choice of the 7 Wonders of Portugal.
Medieval village of Monsaraz, has managed to maintain its characteristics throughout the centuries. A trip to Monsaraz is also a journey back in time as it is a unique place where you can still find peace and tranquility forgotten by modern times.

Marked by lime and shale, it becomes "Monsaraz Open Museum" every July during July, an opportunity to learn about Alentejo customs and customs in handicrafts, gastronomy and the various cultural events that take place there, including music, theater, dance and art exhibitions.

In the patrimony of Monsaraz, the Medieval Castle and Medieval Tower, the Old Courthouse Building (14th / 16th century) and the Mother Church of Nossa Senhora da Lagoa (XVI / XVII) stand out.

Considered one of the oldest villages in Portugal, Monsaraz has recorded evidence of settlement since prehistoric times, being initially a fortified castro. From then on it was successively occupied until the period of formation of the nationality, being conquered for the first time to the Muslims in 1157.

Returning to the dominion of the almôadas after D. Afonso Henriques was defeated in Badajoz, the town would be reconquered by D. Sancho II in 1232, that donated it to the Order of the Temple.

However, the Christian repopulation of Monsaraz was only to take place in the reign of Afonso III, when the monarch granted him the first charter, fixing the limits of the county. In the following years the primitive nucleus of the castle was built, including the keep, the matrix and the Gothic court, whose interior houses the fresco of O Bom and Mau Juiz. Throughout the sixteenth century, and with the Manueline reform of the charter, the village was growing, establishing itself a Brotherhood of Mercy.

During the Restoration Wars, due to the proximity of Monsaraz with the Guadiana and the Spanish border, the Crown had built a new fortress around the village, using the French-Dutch system, or Vauban. The project of the new square of arms was designed by the French engineers Nicolau de Langres and Jean Gillot (ESPANCA, 1975).

In Alentejo, and especially in Monsaraz you will find exceptional wines, exquisite food and unforgettable landscapes.

In the Alentejo, and especially in Monsaraz you will find exceptional wines, exquisite food and unforgettable landscapes.
With a breathtaking view, welcoming and with good regional cuisine, the restaurant Sabores de Monsaraz remains high, as a gastronomic suggestion in the vicinity of the Alqueva. The menu pays homage to the tasty Alentejo gastronomy. Start with the typical entrees, go for the lamb or the black pork, especially the medallions with chives. It will certainly not be badly served with the "migas gatas" with cod and coriander. Finally, get lost in the dessert buffet, where you will find the "soggy" and the sweet rice, among other sweet suggestions. Good wine cellar.
The climate is hot and temperate in Reguengos de Monsaraz. There is much more rainfall in the winter than in the summer. The climate classification is Csa according to Köppen and Geiger. In Reguengos de Monsaraz the average temperature is 16.5 ° C. 569 mm is the average annual rainfall.
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