O Crato is a peaceful and quiet Alentejo village, located in Portalegre. One of the local ex-libris is, without a doubt, the Monastery of Flor da Rosa and the monastic tradition that it bequeathed to the region.
This village is small, but it is very well preserved, characterized by its white houses with stripes, typically Alentejo. For more than 30 years, this village has also been known for its Festival, the Festival do Crato, which attracts many visitors to the village during the summer.
Crato: what not to miss in this Alentejo village
This Alentejo village, despite being simple and small, has a rich and diverse heritage, made up of a vast array of monuments of interest. At the head, the Monastery of Santa Maria de Flor da Rosa, where one of the magnificent Pousadas in Portugal currently operates. Also worth mentioning are its Mother Church from the 13th century, the ruins of Castelo Altaneiro, the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso and the Casa Museu Padre Belo.
Furthermore, this is a region with archaeological value, as it has several megalithic monuments, such as the Anta do Couto dos Andreiros or the Penedo do Caraça, among many others. Nature also impresses with its beauty. Nearby there are three dams to visit: Vale Seco, Arreganhada and Câmara. There, it is possible to carry out various sports, nautical and leisure activities.
Monastery of Santa Maria de Flor da Rosa
The Monastery of the Hospital Order of Flor da Rosa was founded in 1356 and is located in the village of Flor da Rosa, near Crato. It is a very important monument in the region and, since 1995, it works as an inn.
The building is made up of three distinct “parts”: the Gothic-style fortress-church, a Gothic castellated palace (already with 16th century alterations) and the remaining conventual, Renaissance and Mudejar dependencies.
Old Bridge of Crato
In Ribeira do Chocanal, about 100 meters from Crato, is this also called Roman bridge, a construction in granite masonry. It is believed that the construction is medieval, although the voussoirs of the arches may have had Roman origins or, then, may have been made by reusing materials from the past.
Festival do Crato
Since 1984, the town of Crato has also been known for its Handicraft and Gastronomy Fair🇧🇷 It started as a regional fair, it became a festival of national dimension, where not only Portuguese artists will play, but also international ones.
Names such as Gipsy Kings, Gentleman, Pedro Abrunhosa & Comité Caviar, Ivete Sangalo and Gavin James have already passed through there. Obviously, the festival only takes place in the summer, but you can already put it on your agenda for 2023.
What to see around Crato
Alter do Chão
Another peaceful Alentejo village, also belonging to the district of Portalegre. In addition to the houses, with one or two floors, white and with a colored band, there are manor houses from the 17th and 18th centuries to admire along the streets.
Alter’s heritage is also quite rich. Here, you will find the Castle, the Church of Nosso Senhor Jesus do Outeiro, the Church of Misericórdia, the Chapel of Santana, the Church of São Francisco, the Church of Nossa Senhora da Alegria, the Church of the Convent of Santo António and the Chapel of Santo António dos Olivais.
It is also in Alter that the Coudelaria is located, founded in 1748 by D. João V, with a view to breeding Lusitano horses for the Picaria Real. Currently, this is where the Professional Agricultural School of Alter do Chão, the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art and a branch of the University of Évora operate.
Cabeço de Vide
This is a parish that belongs to the municipality of Fronteira. Of its heritage, the ruins of the Castle, the Capela do Espírito Santo, the Pelourinho, the Cruzeiro and the Railway Station, decorated with tiles that narrate scenes of rural life, stand out.
In this region, there are also the Sulfúrea Baths, indicated for the treatment of skin, respiratory and rheumatic diseases. They have been used since the time of the Roman occupation and have several fountains and springs, in a wooded area.
Castelo de Vide
This village is located on a hill in the Serra de São Mamede. Its white flowered houses are topped by the Castle, surrounded by various megalithic legacies, such as the Menhir da Meada. Also worth visiting is the “Jewish Quarter”, which still preserves the synagogue, the oval windows and doors of the houses, as well as the doors of the workshop or trade, some decorated with professional symbols.
Try typical dishes such as sarapatel (lamb or kid viscera), kid stew or migas with spare ribs. End the trip tasting some of the liquors produced in the region.