Alcáçova

Archaeological Site

in Mértola

This site contains the ruins of what was once a thriving Islamic neighbourhood. Some 20 dwellings were here, each with a classic Mediterranean layout – a main entry patio, kitchen, storage area, sleeping quarters and latrine. You can wander around the site on raised platforms, with signage (in English and Portuguese) pointing out key details.

Also on the site is an even older find – the ruins of a portico with mosaic tiles that was once part of a 5th-century Episcopal Palace. Below lies an impressive 32m-long underground gallery dating from the same period. Shortly after the Reconquista by the Knights of Santiago in the 13th century, the neighbourhood was destroyed and turned into a cemetery.