In Algarve and Alentejo, there is much more to discover beyond the heat, sun and beach, there are monuments with interesting stories and traditions that continue in our days.
Joint Issue Portugal-Marocco: Castle of Silves
Popular Portuguese and Moroccan traditions have one very interesting thing in common, one that can never be emphasized enough: the “stone memory” of ancient buildings of unknown or unclear origins.
The red castle in Silves, a city described by Muslim authors as one of Alandalus’ most prestigious cultural capitals, was built on the site of the fortification walls surrounding the magnificent Xarajib Palace. It is a national monument since 1910 and the largest, most significant and best preserved castle of the Algarve.
The Lusitano Horse: Alta Escola
The pure breed Lusitano, which has been ridden for more than five thousand years, arrives at the 21st century reconquering the splendor acknowledged to it in ancient times by Greeks and Romans, who considered it as the best saddle horse in the world.
Over the last centuries, the Lusitano has stood out as a horse of excellence for both Horsemanship and Bullfight on Horseback but, besides being the most enjoyable Saddle-horse there is, it natural ability in Jumping Obstacles, Dressage, and Equestrian Competition Driving never ceases to surprise, and has won international titles.
Portugal has a large equestrian tradition, with associated Horse destinations such as Alter do Chão, in the Alentejo.
Traditional Portuguese Embroideries: Rugs of Arraiolos
In this traditional society, embroidery was and still is a female activity. At a very young age girls were taught the first stitches by the older women of the family. In this home environment, during the long winter evenings spend around the fireplace, they practiced both the simpler as well as the more complex stitches on small strips of fabric known as Maps or Sample Books.
All these places, evocative of the most distant past of the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, also play an important role in the history of archaeological research in Portugal. The megalithic structures, that always rouse curiosity owing to their striking presence in the rural landscapes, leading to various explanations as to their origin and function; the Roman past, because it has, at all times, constituted one of the cultural moulds of the west.
The Ruínas Romanas of Milreu and the Monumentos Megalíticos of Alcalar are two examples of existing assets in the South.