Estremoz is known as “Cidade Branca” (white city), in part for its traditional white houses, but also for its white Marble deposits, that is such an ancient industry that even the Romans utilized it in their constructions in this area, centuries ago. Nowadays this region accually contributes with 90% to the fact that Portugal is the World’s second Marble producer.
The historical weight of Estremoz dates from long time ago, as it was already an important place during the Roman and Muslim occupation of the Peninsula. During the Middle Age, it was also quite important, mainly for its strategic situation, at about 50km from the border with Spain.
Estremoz is surrounded by two different sets of defensive walls: the first dating from the 13th century around the old town, next to the Castle, and another built during the 17th century on the lower part of the town.
Estremoz has several highlights: in the Vila Velha (old part of town, its historical centre) up to the 13th century Castle and the Royal Palace, where is nowadays located a luxury Hotel, or the gracious Rainha Santa Chapel, and other historical places, such as the Convent and Church of São Francisco (14th and 18th centuries), the Santa Maria Church (16th century), or the Dom José I Squre, the beautiful and central Rossio Square and the Professor Joaquim Vermelho Municipal Museum, with popular works from the 18th and 19th centuries.
In fact, this region is quite rich in popular art and widely known for its artists, and for the wonderful products manufactured usually with Clay, wood, horns and cork.
The Cuisine is also very famous and traditional from this region of Alentejo, made with the local products. In this demarked wine region are produced some of the most appreciated Portuguese Red mature wine.