Castelo de Vide
This year Andanças will embrace the quaint and historical village of Castelo de Vide, located on the North slope of S. Mamede Mountain range, between 540 and 600 meters high, in High Alentejo region.

The town of Castelo de Vide is situated in the northern part of the Serra de S. Mamede between 540 and 600 m above sea level. It dates back to the 13th century and developed from the ridge, where the castle is located, and the adjoining southern slope. This area is know today as “Canto da Aldeia” (village corner). Later, it expanded along the ridge in a southeasterly direction. In the middle of the 16th century, the whole ridge was populated, including the northern slope. Jews settled in this disadvantaged area in terms of sun exposure.

In the 16th century, Castelo de Vide developed rapidly, due to the development of agricultural production and weaving, and the intensified trade with Spain. Several churches and chapels as well as remarkable mansions were constructed. The expansion of the city was limited by the construction of the city walls in the 18th century. From the 19th century, the number of inhabitants of the city increased more and more, resulting in the construction of new roads to the surrounding areas. Parts of the city walls had to be destroyed for those roads. At the end of the 20th century another period of expansion started. New parts of the town developed outside the city walls or even disconnected from the city. Castelo de Vide is a unique and very characteristic town of high interest in terms of architecture, history and culture. It is worth learning more about the military and ecclesiastical architecture, for example by visiting the castle (13th to 16th century) and the medieval burgh, as well as the remainders of the walls of the bastion from the 18th century and the fortress Forte de S. Roque (17th to 18th century).

There is an unusually high number of ecclesiastical buildings in Castelo de Vide. And except for the synagog (before the 14th century), they are all catholic churches and chapels. Worth mentioning are the Igreja Matriz de Santa Maria da Devesa (18th to 19th century), the Igreja de N. Sra. da Alegria (17th century) and the Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Penha (16th century).
Besides, there is the old Jewish quarter around the synagog with steep streets full of flowers. This part of the town was recently transformed into a museum in order to impart the Jewish inheritance, which we can still find nowadays. Furthermore, Castelo de Vide has the second largest collection worldwide of ogival doors dating back to the 14th to 16th century. They can be found on the slope to the castle.
Some cultural highlights are the Centro de Interpretação de Megalitismo, the museum workshop of the traditional blacksmith Mestre Carolino, the agricultural museum in Póvoa e Meadas and the municipal library. There you can get information on cultural activities or you can find numerous interesting publications. Another important aspect are the traditions, which are especially present during holidays like Carnival, Easter, holidays related to the patron saints of the regions, various fairs and processions. Costumes, dances, songs and customs play an important role as well. 

Castelo de Vide is also known as “Sintra of the Alentejo”, as D. Pedro the Fifth called it. The surrounding areas offer a large variety of routes and hiking tours, where you can enjoy the diverse landscape on foot, by bike or by car. Interesting contrasts in the relief provide impressive panoramas which transform regularly along the year with the change of the seasons.
There are also plenty of possibilities for sportive activities in Castelo de Vide, for example swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), maintenance trails, tennis courts, a multi-sports pavilion and a grass field with tartan track…
Folklore is a major cultural activity in the area. There are two folk groups which have the objective to preserve and spread traditions and customs of the region. Besides, handicrafts are an important touristic attraction and provide the livelihood of the people. Popular are works of wood or cork, pottery, wrought iron, embroidery and patchwork. Trying the local gastronomy is a must. Typical dishes are: Sarapatel (kind of a meat stew), Cachafrito (sauteed lamb), bread soup, potato soup with bell pepper, dogfish in garlic sauce, goat or sheep stomach in tomato sauce, Migas (bread soaked in stock and fried in olive oil) and many more. Popular sweets from the region are various pastries like Boleima and Queijadas, and cakes like Bolo da Massa and Bolo Finto. Castelo de Vide also offers numerous kinds of accommodation.
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