Alentejo plains, ALENTEJO

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VIANA DO CASTELO
COSTA BARROS HOUSE
This building has an elaborately designed Manueline window with a carved rectangular frame and a series of elaborate and impeccably shaped and carved arcades. Nowadays it is an inn.
MISERICÓRDIA CHURCH
A plain façade conceals the riches that lie inside. The interior is very spacious and has only one nave, covered by a semi-cylindrical ceiling decorated with painted stucco. The high altar and side altars are carved and embellished with gilt and the walls are entirely covered with decorative Portuguese tiles depicting biblical scenes. The sharply contrasting colours and materials enhance the different forms of decorative artwork.
PARISH CHURCH
This ancient 15th. century church is still proudly standing, with its two sturdy side towers that make it look like a medieval castle, although it is, in fact, Gothic. Framed between them and slightly inset is the doorway, with a stained glass rose window above it. The doorway is a remarkable work of sculpture with its three ogival archivolts decorated with a proliferation of angels playing music, six apostles, acanthus leaves and the infant Jesus.
The interior has three naves divided by arches and supported by pillars displaying 17th. and 18th. century carvings, a wide variety of decorative tiles, oil paintings and a precious 16th. century painting.
Other mediaeval houses stand in the vicinity of the church, creating a striking scene.
PRAÇA DA REPÚBLICA
This irregularly shaped square suggests that it is based on an old medieval oblong and trapezoidal plan. Its widest section is intersected by a house that looks like a castle, with Gothic arches in the lower section. On the left there is a fantastic Renaissance façade filled with carved figures straight from the grotesque popular imagination of the time.
In the centre there is a 16th century granite fountain consisting of a column with two bowls and four gargoyles, crowned with an armillary sphere.
There are also esplanades and restaurants and a cake shop that has the reputation of being the best in the city; the Pastelaria Natário.
SANTA LUZIA CHURCH AND TERRACE
You can go up to this beauty spot from the city by the lift, an ascent of over six hundred metres offering panoramic views. At the top you will be able to see the entire city, the valley, the river, with its source far away, the sea breaking on the dunes of Cabedelo and, in the distance, the melting watercolour tones of the mountains.
The church is a compact edifice, visibly inspired by the Parisian Sacré Coeur Basilica in Montmartre. It dates from the beginning of the 20th. century and was built in dark granite whose shapes and tones give it a solid, indestructible appearance.
VIANA DO CASTELO MUNICIPAL MUSEUM
Located inside the Palacete dos Barbosa Maciel, the museum has an important collection of decorated tiles, Portuguese glazed earthenware and Indo-Portuguese furniture. (258 820 678. Largo de São Domingos. 9 am -12.30 pm and 2 pm - 5.30 pm. Closed on Mondays and public holidays).
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from  € 535