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Side Trips from Lisbon Travel Guide


The small town of Palmela lies in the center of a prosperous wine-growing area, and every September the community holds a good-natured Festa das Vindimas (Grape Harvest Festival) that draws inhabitants from their whitewashed houses onto the cobbled streets. The village is dominated by the remains of a 12th-century castle that was captured from the Moors and enlarged by successive kings.

In the 15th century the monastery and church of Sant'Iago were built within the castle walls. The structures were damaged in the 1755 earthquake and lay abandoned for many years. After extensive restoration, a pousada was opened in the monastic buildings. From this height, on a clear day, you can see Lisbon.

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