surroundings

Fred

02 May 2018

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Santiago do Cacem
and surroundings

Santiago do Cacem

Santiago do Cacem is Portugals second biggest municipality, dating back to prehistoric times. The city is made up of two parts: the old city with the castle constructed on the slopes of the hill top and the new settlement around the market place situated at the foot of the castle hill. The Castle and its joined Igreja Matriz (church) are both national monuments forming the heart of the historic centre. Of Arab origin the majestic castle was completely reconstructed by the Christians in the 12th century. Bonded to the nowadays remaining castle walls is the Igreja Matriz which dates back to the 8th century. Walk around the castle walls and absorb the beautiful view over the city of Santiago do Cacem and the coastline of the Costa Vincentina. On a clear day the view can reach from the Lagoon of Santo Andre all the way up to Setubals Serra Arabida.

 

Start the visit to the castle at the bottom of the hill and make your way up the steep and narrow streets winding down the eastern slopes of the castle. The streets are lined with old “ palacetes” and houses dating back historically to 1301, including the old fire station and the garage of the first car to drive the streets of Santiago do Cacem.The interesting harmonious architectural ensemble includes a pillary dated back to 1845 in the middle of the Conde de Barcial Square.

 

At the foot of the Castle hill stands the old prison now transformed into the cities municipal museum, displaying a collection of archeological artifacts found in and around Miróbriga. The museum also disposes of an ethnographic section depicting scenes from a 19th century typical Alentejan housing.

Miróbriga

Fascinating Roman ruins which lay on the outskirts of the city Santiago do Cacem. A short drive or an hours walk from the castle, Miróbriga is nestled in the foothills of Santiagos country side. The archeological site was once an important urban centre in Roman times. The site consists of a hippodrome, houses decorated with mural paintings, an acropolis, the Venus temple and a very rich bathing complex.

The public bathing complex consists of a cold bath zone “frigidarium” and hot bath zone “caldarium and tepidarium”. Floors covered in marble show the historical importance of Miróbriga for commercial trade routes, pilgrimages and festivities. Miróbriga testifies the wealth of an agricultural and livestock centre and is one of the best preserved Roman ruins in the country.

Badoca Parque

A five minutes drive away from Monte dos Carotos, Badoca Safari Park is situated off the IC33 highway between Grandola and Sines. Badoca is an African style safari park where African magic comes to live in the middle of the Alentejan countryside.

A fun day out for the whole family, grownups and children alike. One can come in close contact with a number of different African species from the wagons of the African Safari ride. A tractor with robust wagons will take you through the 40 hectare safari where antelopes, zebras, giraffes, buffalos and ostriches roam free.Come close to Ringtailed lemures, famous because of the movie Madagascar, in the lemure interaction session. During the interaction one enters the habitat of these funny yet unique animals only found on the island of Madagascar. Take a pick-nick along or have lunch at the beautiful panoramic restaurant. Badoca park also has a large pedestrian area with aviaries, primate islands and farm animals. Join one of the keeper talks or bird of prey shows which are performed at various times during the day.

 

For more information about the park please contact your hostess.