It’s hard to believe that the Terras d’Ossa organisation is only two years old when it has accomplished so much in such a short space of time!
As we are still only just discovering the Alto Alentejo region of Portugal, for us camping is all about experiencing new places that are not necessarily long road trips away. So in late April we drove to Vimieiro, a village that is only 30 minutes from Estremoz in the district of Arraiolos.
When we made the decision to move permanently to the Alentejo, and specifically Estremoz, we were unaware of the Serra d’ossa and didn’t know that it would become so important to us. But once we discovered it, we soon became drawn to making weekly forays into its hidden depths, hardly ever meeting another living soul.
The traditional clay figures of Estremoz, or Bonecos de Estremoz, in 2017 were recognised by UNESCO as being an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity—and are part of the cultural identity of the town.
The Museu Municipal de Estremoz Prof. Joaquim Vermelho is at the top of the town in the castle square, in a building that dates back to the 13th/14th century—and is a great little place to visit if you want to know more about the town of Estremoz, it’s traditions, history and people.
Set out to resemble a traditional Alentejo home, the museum also includes a separate art gallery that hosts temporary exhibitions of modern art that change throughout the year.
Estremoz must have one of the most beautiful town hall buildings in all of Portugal. Although the Convento dos Congregados, Nossa Senhora da Conceição of the Congregates of the Oratory of São Filipe Nery de Estremoz, to give it its full name, has a rather unusual history in that it took 300 years to build!