This is a typical manor of the south of Portugal – “herdade alentejana” – being for more than 100 years in the same family. Initially founded as an agricultural production farm, Monte do Ramalho gathers all the conditions to host our guests in a cozy and tranquilizing environment.
The tourists’ houses are from 1830. These houses started as the main infrastructure of the farm, but in the 30’s were substituted by the actual family house. From then on the houses were started to be know as “Monte de Cima” (upper house) or “Monte dos Forrageais” (forging house), becoming a shelter for entire generations of agricultural workers Since early days, all Alentejo houses obeyed to east/west orientation, leaving the façade oriented to the south with no windows in order to defend its inhabitants from the hot weather typical of the region, closest enemy of Alentejo’s workers. With this goal, existing windows were no more than small holes on the thick and whitewash painted walls.
Heat was exclusively produced in fireplaces, which inhabitants called “canto do lume” (place of the fire), a place where they would seat around the fire for hours, after the working day, talking, drinking wine or eating typical bread with olive oil. In 1975, times of transition of the political regime in Portugal, the farm was occupied and remained that way from 1975 until 1980. During these years, Monte do Ramalho suffered a profound degradation. When the occupants finally returned the farm to the family, the hypotheses of demolition emerged, however due to a great affection to the farm and the generations that it sheltered, the family decided to maintain all infrastructures.
In 1933 three family members decided to rehabilitate the houses in order to live there and the main concern was always the esteem and conservation of its original architectural attributes. In 2011, the houses suffered small improvements and redecoration in order to host tourism activity and, to become a charming rural hotel in the sunny southern countryside of Portugal.