Pousada Castelo Alcácer do Sal
SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES
Enjoy the various activities in the area around Pousada de Alcácer do Sal, including canoeing, fishing, hiking and horseback riding. Ask for help at our24-hour reception.
Tantalise your taste buds at the Sala das Colunas Restaurant with views of the town walls, offering the best of traditional Portuguese cuisine. If you prefer something lighter or just a drink, visit our bar.
During the winter, relax in our fireplace room and take the opportunity to read a book or visit the fantastic cloister terrace. In summer take the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor swimming pool as well as all the surrounding areas. You can park your vehicle for free at the Pousada.
Atop the highest hill of the region stands the Alcácer do Sal Castle. Once nearly impenetrable, the imposing fortress which once had more than thirty 25 m towers, now houses the Pousada D. Afonso II and theArchaeological Crypt, an underground museum.
Surrounded by two ramparts, the Alcácer do Sal Castle is a rare example ofmilitary constructions made of topsoil. Archaeological digs built in the vicinity of the fortress found remains from the Neolithic, Iron Age and Roman and Arab occupations. Some of the finds can be seen at the museum currently housed in the castle.
The castle has always played a prominent role in the city’s life. Even its name – Alcácer – comes from the word “Al-Qasr”, the Arabic for palace. For many years, the castle was the setting for conflicts between Christians and Muslims, until 1217, when it was taken over by D. Afonso II.
Held by the Portuguese crown, the medieval castle was renovated and expanded, then with a larger and more imposing structure than today. During the 15th century, it gradually lost the military functions it had throughout the Middle Ages. In 1573 Rui Salema, a nobleman from the house of the House of Prince Luís, founded the Nossa Senhora de Aracaeli Convent within the fortress, in the "same space as the former Orderm de Santiago da Espada palace".
The Poor Clares took that space for over 300 years, until the dissolution of the monasteries gradually put an end to the convent’s community. Starting in the 19th century, when the building was abandoned, the building fell into disrepair, until the 1990s, when extensive restoration work was carried out on the convent and the castle.
In 1998, the old convent was transformed into a Pousada and ten years later, the Archaeological Crypt of the Alcácer do Sal Castle was opened.
Located underneath the Aracaeli convent now housing the Pousada D. Afonso II, the Archaeological Crypt offers a true journey back in time, with over 27 centuries of history. The restored area of the Convent contained medieval walls in Christian times, following the reconquest, partially supported on Roman walls, which were, in turn, built on top of the more ancient structures dating back to the Iron Age. All the ruins bear witness to its historical periods, from the oldest built in the 7th century B. C., to the latest, from the 19th century.
This set of structures features a find from a building which, given its dimensions, resembles a shrine, used in the Iron Age and Roman Times (4th century B.C. and 2nd century A.D.). One of the cells of this shrine was identified by an altar with oil lamps and ceramic plates with a small pond, from where a tabela defixionis was removed, i.e. a small plate with spells.
July and August: 9:30 am–1:00 pm, last entry at 12:30 pm; 3:00–6:30 pm, last entry at 6:00 pm.
9 am–12:30 pm, last entry at 12:00 pm; 2:00–5:30 pm, last entry at 5:00 pm.
NOTE: The last entry is always half an hour before closing time.
The Crypt is open Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays, May Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday
Free entry to the Crypt on:
a) Municipal Holiday (24 June);
b) International Day of Families (15 May);
c) Events related to Museums and Cultural Heritage, namely:
• National Day of Historical Centres (28 March);
• International Day for Monuments and Sites (18 April);
• International Museum Day (18 May);
• European Heritage Days (movable date – last weekend of September).
DESTINATION AND LOCATION
If you bring the family, visit the Estuário do Sado and look for the dolphins or visit Badoca Park, for a safari of various exotic animals.
Less than 30 km away, you will find one of the most closely guarded secrets of the dazzling Portuguese coast: the Comporta, Carvalhal and Pego beaches.
The closest train station is in the town of Grândola, about 20 km from the Pousada Castelo de Alcácer do Sal, and the city of Setúbal is 40 minutes away by car. The closest airport is Lisbon International, 90 km away. The Pousada de Alcácer is an Historic Hotel with 32 rooms and 3 suites.