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Mértola is a beautiful village situated in the Alentejo province, on the south of Portugal, of a great splendour and filled with history and heritage, often called as “live museum”.
With human presence vestiges since the Neolithic Period, Mértola was inhabited since early ages. The Phoenicians built here an important commercial Port, and Roman, Visigoths and essentially Moors left in Mértola an important heritage.
Situated in an area blessed by nature, on the right bank of the Guadiana River, soon Mértola knew how to take advantage of what the best the river has to offer.
Named Myrtilis Iulia by the Romans and Mārtulah by the Moors, Mértola houses nowadays the Europe’s biggest Islamic Museum exclusively with pieces of Islamic art.
All the village presences pieces of history, as for instance its Castle up in the hill, or the Sanctuary and Necropolis of São Sebastian, or the ancient Misericórdia Church (nowadays a sort of religious museum), or the Early Christian Basilica, the Roman House or the Matriz Church, previously the Mosque from the 12th century, but probably built over Roman’s construction: there is plenty to see and admire in Mértola.
To this rich history several traditions and costumes are added, as for instance the quality meat produced in the region, the fabulous bread, the honey, and the widely famous goat and sheep cheese, the sausages and smoked ham, the delicious pastry and of, course, the fresh river fish, provided by the Guadiana River.
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