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Serpa

Trip Planner Europe  /  Portugal  /  Alentejo  /  Beja District  /  Serpa
Serpa is a city and a municipality in Portugal, in Alentejo Region. The population in 2011 was 15,623, in an area of 1105.63 km². The Guadiana River flows close to the town of Serpa.ParishesAdministratively, the municipality is divided into 5 civil parishes : Brinches Pias Serpa Vila Nova de São Bento e Vale de Vargo Vila Verde de FicalhoHistorySerpa 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.
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