From Praça do Geraldo to the Graça Church
On the way, there is a rare surviving piece of the gothic walls of the city: the tower of Selaria.
Defined to the north by a medieval arcade, the Praça do Geraldo can be interpreted as a citizen´s forum, enlivened by the pleasant esplanades and the impact of the fine 16th century marble fountain, crowned in bronze. It´s said that the eight bronze gargoyles correspond to the number of streets opening onto the square. In the extreme north, Cardinal Henrique ordered the destruction of a Roman a three triumphal arch gateway and had built in its place, the church of Saint Anthony, consecrated in 1563.
Under the clear skies of the Alentejo, leave this central square to discover ancient history as told by the labyrinth of streets. Sharp eyes will pick out the gothic doorways, the Manueline windows or an arcade leading onto the cool of a shaded patio.
The very names of the streets tell the story of the city: its personalities (the streets of Vasco da Gama, Mestre Resende, Serpa Pinto), its professions (rua dos Alfaiates (tailors), dos Mercadores (traders), the connections with the nobility (rua das Armas do Cardeal (the Cardinal´s coat in arms), the communities (Mouraria (Moors), Judiaria (Jews) and even the people´s sense of humour (Mal-Barbado (Badly-Bearded), Cicioso (whispering), beco do Beiçudo (blubber lipped dead end).
Should you prefer to stick to a better defined itinerary, leave Praça do Geraldo down rua da República until you come across a small lake on your left and the Church of Our Lady of Graça (Forgiveness), an unusual Mannerist monument.
Head rightwards from the lake towards the square 1º de Maio. There you will come across the Church of São Francisco (Saint Francis) one of the best-defined examples of the gothic - Moorish style that characterises so many monuments in the Alentejo. In the Municipal Gardens, there are the remains of the Palaces of São Francisco.