I’ve been in Mourão twice, both times… to eat.
In this second time I demanded a few minutes to look around, and caught a general idea of the city.
That’s all, until the third visit.
Maybe to eat!
The traditional look of Alentejo is well present in City’s centre.
Small sized buildings giving a village look, white walls, and an absolute calm are, really the true Alentejo at its best.
Conquered by the Christians in 1271, this castle witnessed many wars, suffering the consequent transformations. In one of them some Manueline details were added.
This church, integrated in the city walls, was built by order of king Pedro II, in 1681.
Seriously damaged by Lisbon earthquake in 1755, it was restored about 50 years ago, respecting its original Baroque style.
A very simple church, built in 1719 in Baroque style, became even simpler in 1998 after a few reconstruction works.
It is located close to City Hall.
It is nice, the central square of Mourão.
Dominated by a flourished band stand, classified as national monument, the well gardened square, with Portuguese cobblestone pavements, is surrounded by elegant buildings respecting the style proportions and colors of the region.
S. Francisco church
Linked to Misericórdia church by an arch, the interior of this small Baroque church is covered by tiles from the 18th century.
No changes were made, and everything in it is original.
Alentejo has a typical architecture, with some similarities to Algarve and the north of Africa, but with specific differences – low houses, thick walls always painted in white to reflect the heat and with big chimneys.
Mourão matches the regional standards, but with a local detail – the big chimneys are round.
I had two meals in this restaurant, a favorite place to a friend of mine. The first time it was a terrible lunch, where we arrived at 1 Pm to start eating past 4 PM. Price and quality were only reasonable, and I couldn’t understand why to make 100 Km expressly to go there again. But I did! Friends are friends.This time it was a dinner, and things were better (we were the only customers, and that made all the difference). Once again a reasonable meal, this time a nice reception and service, and price as expected.
Nothing to complaint, but we could have that dinner in a closer place. The restaurant is very typical (that’s, maybe, what attracts my friend, with a tavern at the entrance where the owner and friends sometimes sing local songs that became UNESCO heritage. A pleasant touch.
Some regions in Portugal, like Algarve or Alentejo, have distinctive chimneys, with specific shapes and sizes.
Mourão is known for its “pepper-box” chimneys and I think that it is the only place with so strange constructions.
It is the strongest tradition in Alentejo the mellow songs interpreted by a group of several men singing at two voices.
The restaurant that we used has a tavern at the entrance where the owner and customers… sing.
We’ve been there twice and we always had the coral spontaneous performance.
It is important to listen to the slow music (now UNESCO heritage), to better understand the slow pace that is Alentejo landmark.
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