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Museum inaugurated at Alcoutim castle

A museum of archaeology has opened at Alcoutim Castle with the aim of expanding the monument’s cultural offering to visitors.

Alcoutim Mayor Francisco Amaral said the castle is one of the most important attractions in the council and is visited by thousands of tourists each year, generating much-needed income for the Câmara.

By charging €2.5 per person entrance fee, the Mayor says the câmara is able to cover the expenses involved with cultural activities, such as the archaeology laboratory, a restoration technician and tourist guides.

“Following the extension of the museum, it is now able to incorporate more archaeological findings restored by the câmara. The museum is now one of the main attractions in the castle,” said Francisco Amaral, adding that the works represented an investment of €90,000.

Other improvement works carried out in the castle include the placement of a protective structure along its walls, costing a total of more than €110,000.

The Mayor added that the safety of visitors was of paramount importance to the council and the protective structure enables them to enjoy, “safely”, the “unique views” to the Guadiana River and the town of Sanlúcar de Guadiana, on the Spanish side of the river.

Seventy-five per cent of the works was funded by the Operational Programme of Cross-border Cooperation for Portugal-Spain.

Alcoutim is one of the poorest municipalities in Portugal and has suffered from continued depopulation over the last 10 years.

The Câmara has been working on various projects to revitalise the council, attract businesses and visitors and thus boost the local economy.