As suggested by Luís Antunes, we went to Palmela to visit the Castle / Fortress, have lunch at Dona Isilda and taste the Arrabidine which, with local raw materials and until the 19th century, was produced by the Alcantarine Franciscans of the Convent of Arrábida.
Sixteen MGs attended the meeting, including the most recent MGF of Lídia and Vasco Campos.
The guided tour of the architectural complex consisting of Castle, Convent and the churches of Santiago and Santa Maria took us back to the Neolithic period, when the settlement of the region began with the Romans and later with the Visigoths and Moors.
The original Moorish fortress will have been built sometime in the 8th or 9th centuries and the forces of our first King D. Afonso Henriques took it in 1147, the same year of the reconquest of Lisboa, Sintra and Almada.
Then, during the reign of D. Sancho I, his son, the village was donated to the control of the Military Order of Santiago and from the 13th to the 17th century, D. Dinis, D. João I and D. Pedro II, promoted expansion works and defensive reinforcement.
With the damage caused by the 1755 Earthquake and the dissolution of Portugal's monasteries in 1834, the Castle was then occupied by the Portuguese Military and that’s why today tribute is paid to Hermenegildo de Brito Capelo (1841-1917), son of the Governor Major Félix Gomes Capelo, known for his explorations in Africa.
From there, it was a short walk to the Dona Isilda restaurant, and with the cars parked on a grass field, there was time to enjoy a large buffett of traditional Portuguese cuisine.
Finally, leaving in a caravan, we went to A Casa do Arrabidine where members of the Lima Fortuna family were waiting for us, so Sofia could tell us the story of three generations of digestive and liqueur producers and give us a taste of Bicabagaço and white and red Arrabidine.