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The great castle, rising at 238 metres on a spur of the wooded Serra da Arrábida mountains and overlooking the Sado and Tagus estuaries and the surrounding plains, dominates the town of Palmela and is the county's most important monument.

It was conquered to the Moors by Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, in the 12th century, and altered over the ages until the 18th century: the fortified walls enclose a 14th-century monastery, now lodging a luxurious pousada, the Church of Saint Mary, dating from the 12th century, the Church of Saint James (15th century) and a museum site installed at the former casemates and cistern to display archaeological finds.

At the charming town of Palmela, other monuments attract visitors, like the beautiful 18th-century monumental fountain displaying the town's coat of arms, the 17th-century Town Hall, the Medieval church of Saint Peter, with fine 18th-century painted tiles, and the Miserichord Church, founded in 1566, among other sites.

Besides the historical and religious heritage, Palmela also boasts of dazzling natural sceneries which invite visitors to unforgettable tours and walks.

The town's characteristic architecture, the archaeological excavations at Quinta do Anjo or the picturesque parishes of Poceirão and Marateca, know for being a haven to storks, complete the tourism offer.

Palmela is also known for its wines of great quality which have won international recognition and in honour of which the colourful Festa das Vindimas (Wine Harvest Festival) is held every year at the beginning of September.

The local gastronomy offers excellent ewe's milk cheeses and typical dishes such as soup of monkfish with pennyroyal or rabbit stew with beans, besides delicious sweet specialities such as pears boiled in moscatel (dessert wine).

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