Europe

Marvao, one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal

Marvao always appears in the lists of the most beautiful villages in Portugal. A place that dazzles visitors as they approach it. And it is that contemplating it from afar, in the middle of the Sao Mamede mountain range, is something as attractive as walking through its old cobbled streets.

Where is Marvo?

Traveling to Marvao from Spain is very easy. It is a town in the Alentejoin its northern area and very close to the border with Spain.

In fact, very close is the Extremaduran town of Valencia de Alcántara. And even from the beautiful city of Cáceres it is only a short trip to Marvao of about an hour and a half by road.

a walled town

As they get closer to Marvao, The first thing that strikes visitors is its location. The town is shown on the highest part of a hill. There its urban center unfolds, a set of houses protected by a walled enclosure.

A wall that, without a doubt, is due to its border character. But it is also a consequence of his very long history. In fact, before these walls existed, the place was already inhabited. This is attested to by the megalithic monuments in the form of dolmens that have been found in the area.

Later the Roman troops would arrive here and they would create a city called Ammaia, which could have been inhabited by several thousand residents. But it was not at that time that the current walls were raised.

Those walls, in fact, have a medieval origin. The wall dates, more or less, from the 12th centurywhen Marvao, after having been a Muslim domain and also of Castile, passed definitively to Portugal.

It was the Order of the Hospital, based in the town, which decided to create the fortification to make it impregnable.

Marvao’s heritage

Perhaps in other times these walls prevented entering Marvao, but today they are one more invitation to visit. As the walk through this Portuguese town is a beautiful journey through the Portuguese Middle Ages. We are going to try to tell you what awaits you during that visit.

Convent of Our Lady of the Star

Even before crossing the walls, we are already welcomed by one of the most charismatic temples in the complex. It is the convent of Our Lady of the Star. A whitewashed building like the rest of the town and that traces its origins back to the fifteenth century, approximately.

The wall of Marvao

To get an idea of ​​the power of this military compound, we recommend you cross it, but also, pay attention to certain details. For example, the double door that must be crossed. Or the remains of what were the machicolations and watchtowers of the defensive complex.

more churches

There are several churches that we find during this walk. We can mention that of the Holy Spiritsandwiched between the houses of the town.

Another temple is the church of Santa María, which is worth visiting because there is the Municipal Museum and also the Marvao tourist office. Not only that, it is also surrounded by some peculiar gardens.

Marvao’s castle

However, the destination of any walk in this attractive Alentejo town is the castle. There are preserved medieval remains and, above all, its magnificent homage tower, which dominates the second courtyard of the walled enclosure.

A place to admire for having resisted for centuries and convulsive episodes. But also It is a place to look around. From there you can see from the Sierra de la Estrella and Castelo Branco to the lands of Extremadura, already in Spain.

As you see, It is not surprising that Marvao appears in the lists of the most charming towns in Portugal. A place that you should not miss if you are passing through or visiting the center of the country.

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