Monday, October 28, 2013


Anta do Tapadão

Here in Portugal you can't go too far without tripping over a megalithic monument. And earlier this week was no exception.

While touring the Upper Alentejo we visited the Anta do Tapadão near the village of Aldeia da Mata. This structure has been around for the last 5,000 years or so. It was built by the Celts and similar structures can be found elsewhere in Europe including the most famous site of all, Stonehenge.  There has been much speculation as to the purpose of these monuments and some think that these sites held religious significance for their architects.

The Anta do Tapadão is said to be the best preserved anta in Portugal. But what is even more amazing is that we actually found the anta which is located atop a small mound along an unmarked path in the middle of someone's cow pasture.

There is a sign along the road indicating an entrance point on someone's farm. There is  also a sign on the gate asking people to close the gate after entering but that's where the signposts end.

We walked straight along the main path assuming that we would see some kind of indication. There was a path to the right and further down there was a path to the left. We kept on the straight and narrow. We walked about 1 kilometer and didn't see anything.  Finally, some workmen entered the property and we stopped them and they pointed us in the right direction.

This isn't the first time that we have visited national treasures on private property. These are often in the most surprising locales. Once we had to cross a large herd of grazing sheep on a farm with tailless cats to visit a menhir.

I can only say that the harder it is to find, the bigger the treat . . .

No comments: