guide to visit
The origins of Avis are quite ancient, and throughout the territory many archaeological vestiges have been found attesting the ancientry of the region, with several megalithic monuments and vestiges of quite ancient cultures.
Avis was the headquarter of one of the most important military order and gave name to one of the most important and charismatic Portuguese dynasty. What remains of the Castle nowadays show the history of other times when religious and military orders populated, defended and built villages. According to the legend, this castle was built in secrecy in the 13th century during the night, and whenever the sun’s rays would rise in the morning, the walls were covered with vegetation so that the Moorish enemy, always around the corner, wouldn’t acknowledge the future fortress.
The village, with a medieval plan, with picturesque white small houses with coloured (blue or bright yellow) bands has plenty to show, with its gorgeous historical centre, and the São Bento de Avis Convent Ruins which origins dates back to 1211, the nowadays town hall building that once was part of the Masters of the Avis Order Residence, the Mother Church and the lovely Pillory, among many other proud Alentejo’s monuments.
Nearby is located the lovely Maranhão Dam, with unique landscapes and great conditions for several leisure, sport and nautical activities, with a Nautical Club, a Campsite among other facilities like an amazing viewpoint.
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