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Santiago do Cacém



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The city of Santiago do Cacém is dominated by its Moorish castle, rebuilt in 1157 by the Templars, and from its walls a magnificent view of the Serra de Grândola mountains, on the northeast, can be seen. They also enclose the cemetery and the 13th-century Mother Church, with a silver shrine said to contain a fragment of the Holy Cross.

The attractive main square is lined with fine 18th-century mansions built by rich landowners who sought refuge here from the heat of the Alentejo plains.

The Municipal Museum, installed at the former jail-house and which still preserves some cells from its days as a prison, exhibits archaeological findings from nearby Miróbriga and etnographical collections, including beautiful lace, as well as a typical kitchen of the Alentejo where no detail was forgotten.

On a hill near Santiago do Cacém lies the site of a Roman city, Miróbriga, where excavations have already uncovered a forum, two temples, thermal baths and a large circus.

South of the city, Aldeia de Chãos offers a curious architecture, popular and naive, creating a feeling of harmony.

The county is characterized by its mountainous ridges and oak plantations, from where an excellent cork is obtained, not only contributing to the regional economy but also traditionally taking shape as a popular art form in the hands of patient shepherd «sculptors».

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