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Located on a hillside overlooking the river Tagus, Abrantes had once a great strategic importance, namely during the Christian Reconquest (12th century) and the Peninsular War. The castle and fortress is a reminder of this historical role: built by the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, it was used for military purposes until the 20th century.

The fortified walls now enclose the great keep and the 15th-century church of Saint Mary of the Castle, which lodges the small Dom Lopo de Almeida Museum, displaying archaeological finds, Moorish-style tiles, tombs and statues from the 15th and 16th centuries.

The town boasts of other monuments and of a charming historical centre, characterized by traditional houses and streets and squares decorated with flowers and creepers, which have made Abrantes known as the «Floral Town of Portugal» and give origin to a Flowered Streets Competition during the annual festivities held each May.

Other sites of interest are the Miserichord Church, displaying a magnificent Renaissance portal and panels of paintings attributed to Gregório Lopes (1490-1550), the Albuquerque Family Manor, once used as a royal palace, and the ancient Church of Saint Vincent.

Another of the county's tourism attractions is the lake of the Castelo de Bode Dam, extending for more than 60 kilometres, an ideal site for boating, fishing and water sports.

Erected on the flow of the river Zêzere and surrounded by pinewoods and small, picturesque villages, it offers visitors several facilities to enjoy the natural setting, such as the Nautical and Leisure Park of Aldeia do Mato, with a swimming-pool, mooring quay and equipment for water sports and boating, and the Castelo de Bode Ecomuseum, providing information on the zone and including the Rural World Shop.

Gastronomically, the region is famous for its typical cakes, based on ancient recipes created by nuns, namely palha de Abrantes (Abrantes straw) and tigeladas (bowlfuls), delicious specialities made with egg yolks and sugar.

As a riverside zone, there is a variety of fish dishes, such as arroz de lampreia (lamprey with rice) or açorda de sável (shad with mashed bread), and also savoury game dishes, roast kid and entrecosto com migas (spare ribs with bread).

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