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Portugal > Tourism > Alentejo > Montemor-o-Novo

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Between Lisbon and Spain, at the hub of the axis that connect the center and the south of the country, Montemor-o-Novo is one of the most traversed and yet least known places in Portugal. It is time to discover it, from the thoroughfare of cafes and restaurants and the beauty of the countryside that surrounds it, compliments and extends it. Montemor does not only surprise you by its unexpectedness. Its enchantment is born from the simplicity through which the present is experienced, from the force of the past which it evokes, from the imagination which a first look arouses. Montemor is distinguished by the ancestral force of religious orders and rural nobility, expressed in beautiful 17th century manor houses, in several convents (some restored to provide new functions), in churches which display Manueline doorways, rich Baroque altars and unforgettable frescos and tiles. The memory of those times lives serenely with the present and integrates itself with it, as in the more modest houses which have a steadier history.


Convent of St. João de Deus, renovated to house the Municipal Library, the Historical Archives and the Municipal Gallery. To the right is the Crypt of St. João de Deus and the Parish Curch (Igreja Matriz). In the crypt you will learn about the dedication of Montemor to the saint, who was born here. In the church you will find the extraordinary beautiful original fresco which covers the vault of the nave.

The Terreiro de St. João de Deus is dominated by the statue of the saint and the facade of the Parish Church, In front, the magnificent Manueline Doorway of the Misericórdia Church. Here as well as the vein like tracery of the vaulting, (similar to that in the in the Our Lady of Visitation Church), the curious 17th century altar pieces on the side altars, the Sala do Despacho and the 18th century organ, fashioned by the hands of the Italian master D. Pascoal Caetano Olduvini, you can also admire an exquisite Pieta, a fine 15th century work of marble.


(Church) Igreja do Cavalho, is wholly restored, but still remaining from the 17th century are the carved wooden side altars, the "dressing room" and the crucifix. At present the church serves as a home to the altar piece from the Ermida de St. Pedro.

The Convent of St. Domingo with its Archaeological Museum is well worth spending time in.

Convent of St. Francisco, was originally the Chapel (Ermida) of Our Saint of Grace in 1495. Today it houses the Cultural Arts Association.

Convent of Salutation (Saudação), 16th to 19th century, considered to be the monument of greatest artistic value in the town and its environs. If you visit the convent, curently the object of restoration work, take a look at the Portaria (entrance hall), clad in tiles dating from 1651, and at the Claustros (cloisters). Pass through the arch into the garden where you will find the church of St. James (Igreja de Santiago), the Torre da Má Hora or de Menagem (literally translated, Tower of the bad hour, or the Keep) and the Porta do Sol (gateway of the sun).

Explore the Castle at your leisure. Enter by way of the Porta da Vila (Town Gate), next to the Casa da Guarda (Guardhouse) and, with some care climb up the steps to the Torre do Relógio (Clock Tower). From this point on the walls you have a unique view of the ruins of the Paço das Alcaides which served as lodgings for various monarchs and where the Court used to meet.

Guard House.
Clock Tower.
Town Portal.
Tomb Niches.
Convent of Salutation.
Church of St. James.
Tower of the Bad Hour.

Church of St. John the Baptist.
Palace of Alcaides or Royal Palace.
Ruins of the old village/Town hall.
Possible Moorish Slaughterhouse.
Tower and doorway of the Angel.
Ruins of the St. Maria of Bispo Church.

Fonte de Letras, Exhibition gallery and cafe.

(Ermida) Chapel of St. Pedro of Ribeiro, 16th to 18th century, An essential visit to see the mural and, in particular, the gothic style fresco behind the altar, representing St. Pedro and a succession of agricultural scenes where, if you look hard enough, will discover the stange figure of an elephant.

Park and Public Baths.

Town Market Place

Town Hall

Tennis Club.

Tourist Office.

Portugal > Tourism > Alentejo > Montemor-o-Novo

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