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Trip Planner Europe  /  Portugal  /  Alentejo  /  Beja District  /  Serpa


Landmarks · Castles · Specialty Museums
Serpa is a city and a Concelho (municipality) in the central Portuguese region Alentejo. The population in 2011 was 15,623, in an area of 1105.63km2. The Guadiana River flows close to the town of Serpa.HistorySerpa has its origins in early settlement that preceded the Roman occupation of the Iberian peninsula. The neighbouring town of Beja (known as Pax Julia by the Romans) became the capital of southern Lusitanian (Pacensis). Serpa grew through the settlement of Roman colonists, with proof coming from various archaeological remains within the Roman villa.Moorish settlement followed this period, and remained until 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. In the 13th century, owing to its location on the left bank of the Guadiana, it was occupied by forces loyal to Castile.On 1281, King D. Alfonso X of Castile delimited the municipality, attributing a Foral (charter) to the town, from Seville, in order to encourage settlement and expansion.Following the Reconquista, in 1295, Serpa received a new foral from Portuguese King D. Dinis. The local keep that dominated Serpa was partly damaged as a result of the last Spanish invasion. At that time, the king ordered the re-construction of the castle, as well as the erection of a wall fortification.
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