In Crato, located in the heart of Alentejo, houses are white with edges painted a deep yellow; here we may breathe the typical Southern calm.
Crato is a very ancient town, containing archaeological remains dating back to megalithic times. Several existing dolmens prove this territory has been inhabited since the Neolithic age.
The municipality has been deeply marked by Roman occupation; the Seda and Chocanal brook bridges and the remains of the Granja Roman villa bear witness to this era.
In Crato, we find ourselves in lands that have belonged to the ancient Order of Malta. The eight-point cross appears here and there whilst we walk across the narrow cobbled streets, bearing witness to the importance of the Order in the history of this region.
The names and activities of the Order of Malta and D. Álvaro Gonçalves Pereira, the 1st Crato Prior and Father of the Constable, have left important marks in the area, such as the impressive Santa Maria de Flor da Rosa Monastery, which was built as the Order’s headquarters, and the beautiful Grão-Prior Palace, possibly projected by Architect Miguel Arruda and from which the famous Grão-Prior balcony remains, opposite Casa do Largo.
Located near the Santa Maria de Flor da Rosa Monastery, the Flor da Rosa village is also known for its pottery, which is characterised for being extremely resilient to the fire and for keeping water cool when shaped as drinking mugs, barrels, bowls and pitchers.
Crato is doubtlessly a town dotted with palaces, which are beautiful examples of the glamour and refinement that characterised the Baroque era.
Due to its refined environment, the Crato town has been stage to countless royal weddings, performed with all pomp and circumstance throughout the centuries.