Monday, 26 August 2013

Castelo de Vide, Alentejo - Portugal - The 24th of August 2013

My trip to Castelo de Vide was initially meant to be different, as the main purpose was to have gone there to be with my daughter, who was supposed to have been working at the Andanças Festival with a colleague.

She unfortunately stayed behind because of  having caught flu and I, having booked a hotel some time before, decided to go despite having caught flu myself.

I got on a bus fairly early in the morning, which took four hours to reach the final destination as we drove through several small villages in Alentejo I had never heard of, but which looked quite interesting from inside the bus.

The birth of Castelo de Vide is said to have occurred around the same time as the birth of the Portuguese Nation and this may in turn have led to the growth of this Medieval town which kept on flourishing thus having become an acknowledged Portuguese "treasure" often referred to as "The Sintra of Alentejo".

The bus stopped right at the heart of the village with its steep and narrow streets going up towards the right hand side leading to the fortress I visited after having left my back pack at the hotel I would be staying at - Hotel Sol e Serra.

Not knowing where it was located I decided to keep on walking towards Santa Maria da Devesa main Church, considered to be possibly the largest church in Alentejo.

Its building is said to have  begun in the late seventeenth century (to be more precise in 1789) upon the spot where a chapel founded in 1311 once stood.

Around it and occupying the small pedestrian area around the courtyard yet stretching as far as a small garden like area one could see several sculptures by the master Santos Lopes, many of which evoking the musicians who played in the band of the União  Artistica in the eighteenth century.

Two other churches could be seen on either side of this one - the 14th century Church of Santo Amaro,  considered the gem of Baroque purity of Alentejo now housing a book fair and the oldest church of Castelo de Vide - the Church of Saint John Baptist also dating back to the 14th century.

 (To be continued)

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