Alcáçovas is a beautiful small village nearby Viana do Alentejo, situated in the immense Alentejo region, a place of history, tradition and peace of mind.
This small village of white rural houses with coloured bands around doors and windows is quite ancient and occupied by men since early times. Alcáçovas is in fact situated on the ancient Roman road that linked Évora to Salacia (Alcácer do Sal).
After the conflicts and battles between Moors and Christians, Alcáçovas was populated in 1259 and in 1290 the king D. Dinis ordered the construction of the Castle to use as a residence, recognizing the importance and beauty of the place.
Alcáçovas has its name on history for it was here that the as Treaty or Peace of Alcáçovas-Toledo was signed on the 4th Semptember 1479, between the Catholic Monarcs of Castile and Aragon and the king of Portugal D. Afonso the 4th. The treaty put an end to the War of the Castilian Succession, a civil war begun in 1474 over the succession of the kingdom of Castile. It also settled the issue of the disputes between Castile and Portugal over the control of the Atlantic in which Castilian control of the Canary islands was recognized but which also gave Portugal the Azores, Madeira, the Cape Verde islands and Guinea.
Alcáçovas presents an important Heritage, with monuments such as the Mother Church (15ht century), the Misericórdia Church also from the 15th century; the Nossa Senhora da Conceição Chapel also known as the “Shelf Chapel” for its curious decoration, dated from the 17th and 18th century; the lovely Chapels of São Pedro de Sequeiras, São Teotónio, São Geraldo, Senhor da Pedra, or the São Francisco Chapel; the 15th century Nossa Senhora da Esperança Convent; the Medieval Stone Bridge over the Alcáçovas Bridge built in the 15th and 16th century and, of course, the Henriques Palace that was a Royal residence during the 14th and 15th centuries, where the Alcáçovas Treaty was signed, yet needs nowadays a profound restoration.
Quite interesting is the Cattle Bell Museum that shows off one of the main products made in Alcáçovas since remote times.
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