Lavre

The region of Lavre has been inhabitated for as long as there is memory. The oldest reference to Lavar (original designation of Lavre) as a place name dates from 1186. Lavre grewed to one of the biggest villages in the Alentejo region. By the beginning of the 18th century, about 2000 people were living in Lavre and its surroundings. At that time, important structures have been built, like the bridge which can ben seen on the picture beside, as well as the Igreja de Santa Misericórdia (Catholic Charity Church, shown on the other picture). However, the enormous devastation causedby the 1755 earthquake, made an abrupt end to the development and Lavre declined in importance and size and faced great economic difficulties.Today, Lavre counts about 1000 inhabitants and is a very beautiful, friendly and, from the historical point of view, interesting village which is worth to visit and where it is possible to appreciate and taste all the aspects of the typical lifestyle of the Alentejo region.The Courela da Ponte-Velha farm dues its name to the fact that the remainders of the Ponte Velha (old bridge) lay at the border of the farm's area.