The Alentejo region in Portugal is known for its beautiful countryside of cork forests and vineyards, historic towns, and unique cultural heritage. One interesting aspect of this region is the presence of a number of curious and offbeat roadside monuments.
Here are some examples:
Megalithic Monuments - The Alentejo region is home to numerous megalithic monuments, including the famous Almendres Cromlech, which is one of the largest and oldest megalithic sites in Europe. And look for lots of menhirs. What's that? An erected stone vertically placed. No one can really say what they were used for, but some say perhaps fertility rites,
Bizarre sculptures - One of the most curious and unique roadside sculptures in the Alentejo region is the "Stone Head" in the town of Vila Nova de Milfontes. This huge stone sculpture depicts a human head with a gaping mouth and bulging eyes.]Cork sculptures - Cork is an important product in the Alentejo region, and there are a number of roadside sculptures made entirely from cork. One example is the "Cork Oak Tree" in the town of Sines, which is a large sculpture of a cork oak tree made entirely from cork.
Whimsical signs - The Alentejo region is also known for its creative and whimsical road signs. One example is the "Toucan Crossing" sign in the town of Arraiolos, which depicts a toucan walking across the road.
Street art - Street art is becoming increasingly popular in the Alentejo region, and there are a number of impressive murals and graffiti pieces to be found along the roadside. One notable example is the "Gato Fedorento" mural in the city of Beja, which depicts a popular Portuguese comedy group.
Monument to Catarina Eufémia - Monte do Olival is a small village located near Beja. It is the birthplace of Catarina Eufémia, a peasant who became a symbol of resistance against the fascist regime that ruled Portugal until 1974.
On May 19, 1954, Catarina Eufémia was shot dead by the National Republican Guard while protesting against poor working conditions for farm laborers. She then became a symbol of the struggle against the dictatorship. Today, Eufémia is remembered with two roadside monuments, a bust of her in Baleizão, and a hammer and sickle near where she died at Monte do Olival.
Columbo de Cuba. Old Christopher Columbus was from Cuba, not Genoa - so say the locals who put up a monument to him. Portugal's only statue to Columbus is in the middle of the market town of Cuba for the reason. They say he named Cuba after Cuba... Well, that's what they say.