D. Jorge de Melo Square - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
The D. Jorge Melo Square is inserted in the Serpa historical center, which harmoniously reflects its past, are examples the Santa Maria Church and the Clock Tower, a Gothic constructions visible in this image.
D. Jorge de Melo Square - FURTHER INFORMATION
D. Jorge de Melo Square - Serpa visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'D. Jorge de Melo Square' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Alentejo.
Serpa is a sleepy hilltop town of white houses located in the Alentejo Region, Portugal. It lies a few kilometres from the Guadiana River and 30 km from the Spanish border. It is an excellent base from which to explore the lower eastern side of Portugal, as well as neighbouring parts of Spain.
Serpa is classified as Property of Public Interest. It is known to have been settled since before Roman times. Under Roman occupation, the neighbouring town of Beja (Pax Julia to the Romans) became the Roman capital of the Pacensis region. The archeological remains of a Roman Villa today lie close to Serpa.
Serpa's proximity to the Spanish border mean the town has 'changed hands' a few times over the years, and always been a defensive stronghold. This history is visible today – the town is surrounded by thick castle walls; the castle stands in the middle of town and is partly damaged as a result of the last Spanish invasion.
The Monastery of Saint Bernardo was founded in 1518 by Bishop D. Jorge de Melo. It is a renaissance building where one of the most ornate tombs of this period can be admired, containing a prostrate statue of the founding bishop.
There are many places to visit in Serpa. The convent church of Santo António (1463) holds 18th-century azulejo glazed-tile panels depicting the life of St Francis. The castle houses an archaeological museum that contains Paleolithic, Neolithic, Roman and Moorish artefacts. The palace of the Counts of Ficalho is built into the town walls and supplied by a tall, slender aqueduct still present today.
Beyond Serpa, nearby Beja boasts a magnificent 15th century convent and an ancient castle. To the south lies Mértola, a pretty whitewashed town with imposing hilltop castle and unique Moorish-style church.
Posto de Turismo de Serpa
Largo D. Jorge de Melo, 2/3
Telf. 00351 284 544 727
e-mail: [email protected]
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Flight: Lisbon International Airport (LIS)
Flight: Beja Airport
Road: From Lisbon: A2; A6; N114; N 385