Alvito, Alentejo

Alvito  is a Village and a municipality in Beja District in Portugal.

The Alvito region has been inhabited since the Neolithic, and during the period of Roman domination several villae were established nearby, later occupied by Visigoths and Moors. During the Reconquista, Alvito was conquered by the Portuguese in 1234, being later (1251) donated by King Afonso III to Estêvão Anes, chancellor of the kingdom, who promoted the settlement of the area.

The village gained a foral (letter of feudal rights) in 1280, confirmed by King Dinis I in 1283. In 1296 an annual fair was established, attesting the rapid development of the region. In 1387, King John I donated Alvito to knight Diogo Lobo in exchange for his services in the decisive Battle of Aljubarrota (1385), and in 1475 the title of Baron was granted to the rulers of Alvito.

Alvito Castle

The 15th and 16th centuries were a time of strong economic and populational development of Alvito, which reached 1700 inhabitants in 1527. The Castle of Alvito was rebuilt between 1494 and 1504, and its architecture and decoration show an interesting mix of Manueline (Portuguese late Gothic) and Mudéjar (Arab-influenced) styles, typical of the Alentejo region. Also the main church (matriz) of Alvito, in a mix of Manueline and early Renaissance styles, dates from the early 16th century.

Main Church (matriz)


“Ermida de S. Sebastião”
“Ermida de S. Sebastião” fits in Manueline-Mudéjar style, being very similar, although more humble, to the Ermidas of S. Brás de Évora and Santo André of Beja.
It is a building of longitudinal plant, formed by a rectangular nave and a chancel. The vault of the nave, as well as that of the main chapel, are lined with fresco paintings composed of musician angels, attributed to José de Escobar’s workshop.

Inside “Ermida de S. Sebastião”


Inside “Ermida de S. Sebastião”


 The castle was built under D. Afonso V reign in 1481, the first Baron of Alvito, in a slight soil elevation next to Praça da República square. It has a rectangular plan and tower-shaped vertexes. The squared keep rises from northwest in the middle of the wall with its thick walls and grid windows. Its palace-like features are given by Manueline style windows with double horseshoe arches in lacing tile and white marble pillars. Alvito Castle has been recently recovered and converted into a Pousada.

Alvito Castle


This church was built in the end of the 15th century, combining several styles, from Gothic to Baroque, from Manueline to Renaissance and Mannerism. It has an interesting Renaissance portal and big buttresses with conic tower endings and battlements on top. In the south wing rises the clock tower with its marble sun clock. 17th century tiles, mainly yellow over a white background, predominantly cover the interior. The main chapel dates back to the 15th century, preceded by an arch framed by pilasters made of typical Alentejo stone. Thirty coffers divided in six rows split the cradle vault.

Main Church

Inside Main Church

Inside Main Church
Inside Main Church

Source: Wikipedia


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Some photos by Teresa Baliño Copyright © All rights reserved ● More info All images created by Teresa Baliño are protected under copyright law. You are not allowed to reproduce, copy, publish, transmit, upload, use, print, distribute, alter, edit, modify or manipulate Teresa Baliño work in any way, either in it’s entirety, or in portion, without express (and prior) written consent and license from Teresa Baliño.


Infância, de Paulo Rema

10 anos de idade
no cimento frio, no tempo
em que não havia frio
chora, a camioneta passa
os calções pretos, feitos feios,
as raparigas fogem
não falam com ele
no entanto, tem um dom
aprisionado nas pontas dos seus dedos
da mão mais esquerda
toca para dentro do exterior
levanta-se, sem amigos,
desenha idiotices, amarrota a alma em fase desacelerada de crescimento
contínua forma de sofrer
aparecem abutre
disfarçados de pardais
paixões que duram um dia
amores que se esquecem numa vida
os professores ensinam
numa língua diferente
ele aprende a sonhar
fora das janelas da sala, existe
um novo tipo, a que chamam luz
na hora de ir para a
casa que visita, estranha, treme
quer voltar
à solidão do cimento frio e duro
no canto do edifício amarelo, sujo
ou cor de lágrimas de criança
tem um dom, o rapaz
quer ser o Tempo, para não
e poder voltar atrás.
Text by © Paulo Miguel Rema – Portuguese Version

Photo: Paulo M. Rema


Fengdu Ghost City

Photo by Tennessee Wanderer

Fengdu Ghost City  is a large complex of shrines, temples and monasteries dedicated to the afterlife located on the Ming mountain, in Fengdu County, Chongqing municipality, China.

It is situated about 170 kilometres (110 mi) downstream from Chongqing on the north bank of the Yangtze River.

The city consists of buildings, structures, dioramas, and statues related to Diyu and Naraka, concepts from Chinese mythology and Buddhism that signify the underworld or hell. It is modeled to resemble Youdu, the capital of Diyu.

Photo by Gisling


After the building of the Three Gorges Dam and the rising of the water level of the river it became separated from the city of Fengdu, which was rebuilt higher up the mountainside on the south side of the river.

Photo by DDTai

In recent years, Fengdu Ghost City has become a tourist attraction. Cruise boats carrying tourists up or down the river stop at the docks and tourists are taken in vehicles halfway up the mountain. From there there is an open-air escalator up to the complex or the visitor can climb up on foot.

Demon for bad boys at Fengdu Ghost City. Photo by Matt Ryall

The site’s history goes back nearly two thousand years, at least in legends. It focuses on the afterlife and combines the beliefs of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. It is mentioned in several classic Chinese works of literature like Journey to the West, Apotheosis of Heroes, and Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio.

According to legend, Fengdu got its name of Ghost city during the Eastern Han Dynasty when two imperial officials, Yin Changsheng and Wang Fangping, came to Ming mountain to practice Taoism and in the process became immortals. The combination of their names, Yinwang, means “King of Hell” and that was the beginning of the site’s focus on the underworld. Many of the temples and shrines show paintings and sculptures of people being tortured for their sins.

Modoribashi at Fengdu Ghost City. Modoribashi means the Bridge to Hell. An attraction called “Nothing-To-Be-Done-Bridge” connects the real world with the nether world. It’s a testing point for good and evil. According to legend, the bridge has three identical stone arches. The middle arch is where people are tested, but there are many different protocols for crossing the bridge – all depending on age, gender, and marital status. Photo by Gisling


Chinese Realm of the Dead. Another attraction is “The Ghost Torturing Pass.” It is the second test before entry into the nether world and it’s said that it is the place where the dead report to the Yama, the King of Hell, for judgment. Photo by Maximovich Nikolay


Hell and its bureaucrats at Fengdu Ghost City. Why are there bureaucrats in Chinese hell? Because to the Chinese, the social structure in the hell will be exactly like it is in this world. In hell, a spirit would go through an entire bureaucracy to get the final sentence. Photo by Chiva Congelado


Fengdu Ghost City – “The City of Ghosts”. Photo by Rafael (Rafa


Photo by Chiva Congelado


“hell.” Photo by DDTai


“hell.” Photo by DDTai


“Punishment and reincarnation.” Photo by Chiva Congelado


“Ghost of Lust.” Photo by Gisling


Big Demon Ghost. Photo by Terry Feuerborn


Drunkard – Ghosts lining the way to hell. Photo by Gisling


Ghostly statue leading to hell. Photo by Rafael (Rafa


Yasha ghost. Photo by Gisling


Torturer at Fengdu City of Ghosts. Photo by Wilson Loo




Photo by Maximovich Nikolay


Fengdu Ghost City Pagoda. Photo by Gisling


Source: Wikipedia, lovethesepics