Serpa Municipality

Serpa Municipality

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Serpa Municipality

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Description:
Serpa () is a municipality in Portugal, in Alentejo Region, with a total area of 1104.0 km² and a total population of 16,178 inhabitants. The Guadiana River flows close to the town of Serpa.

The present Mayor is João Manuel Rocha da Silva, elected by the Unitarian Democratic Coalition and the President of the Municipal Assembly is José Jacinto Sargento Valente, also elected by the Unitarian Democratic Coalition.

Parishes

The municipality is composed of 7 freguesias (civil parishes):

History

Serpa is of ancient origins and its establishment probably preceded the coming of the Romans to the area. After the Roman occupation, the neighbouring town of Beja (known as Pax Julia to the Romans) became the Roman capital of Pacensis (southern subdivision of Lusitania province) and Serpa was settled by Roman settlers. The archeological remains of a Roman Villa today lie close to Serpa.

The Moors settled in Serpa after their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula and remained until their defeat at the hands of Portuguese forces fighting their way south during the period of the Reconquista (the Christian re-conquest of Iberia).

As a result of Serpa's proximity to the Spanish border, the town has always been a defensive stronghold and today is still surrounded by thick castle walls. The town castle stands in the middle of town and is partly damaged as a result of the last Spanish...
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