Photographer's Note

Hello friends,
On top of these stairs you can see a tower with a clock and one of the two towers of the Church of Santa Maria, also referred to as the Mother Church of Serpa, Alentejo, located near the Castle of Serpa in Largo or Largo de Santa Maria Saints Proculus and Hilarion, in the parish of Santa Maria, Serpa municipality, district of Beja, in Portugal.
Its construction dates from the early fourteenth century, probably having been run over an old mosque árabe.No abroad, highlight the impressive entrance portal and its lateral columns, which support two images of St. Peter and St. Paul. Sports is also a square bell tower on the left. The current structure of quadrangular bell tower houses inside an old cylindrical structure, which may have been the minaret of the mosque.
The interior consists of three naves, divided by arches supported by columns. The chapels have examples of gilt, witnessing the decorative richness of baroque. The main chapel, dominating the whole, the date of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the remaining decoration, we also highlight a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, images of Christ and other vegetal elements, animals and humans.

Serpa (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɛɾpɐ]) is a municipality in Portugal, in Alentejo Region, with a total area of 1104.0 km² and a total population of 16,178 inhabitants. The Guadiana River flows close to the town of Serpa.
The present Mayor is João Manuel Rocha da Silva, elected by the Unitarian Democratic Coalition and the President of the Municipal Assembly is José Jacinto Sargento Valente, also elected by the Unitarian Democratic Coalition.
Serpa is of ancient origins and its establishment probably preceded the coming of the Romans to the area. After the Roman occupation, the neighbouring town of Beja (known as Pax Julia to the Romans) became the Roman capital of Pacensis (southern subdivision of Lusitania province) and Serpa was settled by Roman settlers. The archeological remains of a Roman Villa today lie close to Serpa.
The Moors settled in Serpa after their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula and remained until their defeat at the hands of Portuguese forces fighting their way south during the period of the Reconquista (the Christian re-conquest of Iberia).
As a result of Serpa's proximity to the Spanish border, the town has always been a defensive stronghold and today is still surrounded by thick castle walls. The town castle stands in the middle of town and is partly damaged as a result of the last Spanish invasion.
Owing to its rich past, Serpa offers much in historical interest to visitors, including archeological sites, the town walls, the castle, the aqueduct, the clock tower, the town's museum and numerous interesting old churches.
The area surrounding Serpa consists mostly of wheat farms and wheat has traditionally been the staple of the local economy employing many people. Due to the area's strong agricultural reliance much of the area's people have traditionally been peasants or sheep herders.
After the Portuguese Revolution of 1974 the Portuguese Communist Party gained strong support in the area and its popularity continues to this day.
Today many urban residents of Lisbon, Beja and other cities maintain country homes in Serpa or take weekend breaks to the area as a result of Serpa's rural location and laid back lifestyle.
Serpa is famous for its cheese, a spicy and strong-smelling cheese made in the area and eaten throughout Portugal, although a good one is now hard to find. Other local and regional specialties include Shepherd's Lamb Stew, a Clam and Pork dish and Sweet Potato Pastries. Slightly to the northeast, Pias 38°1′16″N 7°28′39″W is known for its wine.
The municipal holiday is Holy Tuesday.

Nikon D40X
2012/07/13 14:06:23.4
Compressed RAW (12-bit)
Image Size: Large (3872 x 2592)
Lens: 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 G
Focal Length: 10mm
Exposure Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Spot
1/400 sec - F/9
Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 100
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Preset
AF Mode: AF-S
Color Mode: Mode IIIa (sRGB)
Tone Comp.: More Contrast
Hue Adjustment: +3°
Saturation: Enhanced
Sharpening: Medium high
Long Exposure NR: Off
VR Control: Off
High ISO NR: Off

Reserved copyrights: The present photograph is intellectual workmanship protected by law 9610/98 being forbidden to the reproduction for any way without the previous authorization in writing it author. Please contact Gonçalo Lopes

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Additional Photos by Goncalo Lopes (Bluejeans) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9250 W: 115 N: 13285] (64251)
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