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Ferreira do Alentejo

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Ferreira do Alentejo
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Located on the Lower Alentejo, at a zone where the plains begin to register slight undulations, the county of Ferreira do Alentejo boasts of an ancient history, confirmed by the remains of the Roman and Visigothic eras found in the region.

The town and seat of the county exhibits several fine churches, from the pretty Mother Church, sheltering two Gothic tombs, to the Church of Our Lady of the Conception, displaying a statue of the Virgin which accompanied Vasco da Gama on the voyage that discovered the sea route to India and a valuable panel of 17th-century tiles, and to the Miserichord Church, in the Renaissance style, with a Manueline portico and an artistic Mannerist altarpiece.

Far more curious is the Calvary Chapel (also known as Mary Magdalene Chapel), with a unique circular shape topped by an arched roof, similar to a dome, and exterior white-washed walls studded with irregular stones.

Near the town, the Roman villa of Monte da Chaminé dates from the 1st century B.C.

At the small village of Peroguarda, classified as the «second most Portuguese» of the country for its rural traditions and typical white-washed houses, it is worth admiring the sculpted stone cross (1740) and the Church of Saint Margareth, still maintaining architectural characteristics from the 16th century.

The savoury gastronomy of Ferreira do Alentejo offers many characteristic specialities of the region, such as migas com carne de porco (bread and pork dish), gaspacho (garlic and tomato soup, always served cold), carne de porco à alentejana (a curious combination of pork and clams) or açorda (mashed bread) with garlic or wood-pigeon, besides a local sweet, ferreirenses (small cakes made with almonds and sugared squash).

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