Santiago do Cacém
This land is a blend of maritime coast, pine forest and Alentejan inspiration. It is the country’s second biggest municipality and its highest elevation is to be found in the Cercal hills at a height of 346 meters. From here one can see the vastness of the sea to the West. Those travelling in this region who are interested in handicrafts can find chairs and stools made of wood and wicker at São Bartolomeu da Serra and at São Domingos da Serra, saddlery at Santiago do Cacém and at Cercal do Alentejo, ceramics at Santo André and Ermidas Sado and woodwork and cork at Cercal do Alentejo.
Santiago do Cacém is a municipality in Portugal with a total population of 30.305 inhabitants.
The origins of the castle of Santiago do Cacém are rather curious, the result of the victory of a warrior princess over a fierce Moor called Kassen that took place on Santiago’s (St James’s) day. She therefore named it Santiago de Kassen, which, over the time, became Santiago do Cacém Rectangular in shape, ten towers and cubic turrets reinforce the halls. There is a superb view from the castle, whichever way you look. The parish church stands next to it, with its 19th century cemetery.
It was put up on the instructions of the Order of the Gladiators when the settlement was donated to them during the 13th century. Of ancient construction, it has undergone significant alterations. During the 18th century the orientation of the church was altered ant it was given a new facade. The south side still retains its gothic portal. There is an outstanding 14th century gothic high relief depicting St. James fighting the Moors. The old nerve centre of the city, with its steep, narrow streets, dominated by the Conde de Bracial Square. Located on the eastern slopes of the castle, its architecture constitutes a priceless heritage with its typical streets and emblazoned houses.