A road sign on N 122, while coming nearer to Mertola town

A road sign on N 122, while coming nearer to Mertola town

A bridge over Ribeira de Oeiras River which connects the road to the western side of the town

A bridge over Ribeira de Oeiras River which connects the road to the western side of the town

Here, River Guadiana is seen towards the eastern side of Mertola

Here, River Guadiana is seen towards the eastern side of Mertola

This river is 818 km long, of which 140 km lies within Portugal

This river is 818 km long, of which 140 km lies within Portugal

The source of River Guadiana lies in Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) then it flows into Portugal and then back to Spain

The source of River Guadiana lies in Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) then it flows into Portugal and then back to Spain

A warning sign on the western bank of the River Guadiana

A warning sign on the western bank of the River Guadiana

One of the banks of the river, seen from the terrace of the hotel I was staying in

One of the banks of the river, seen from the terrace of the hotel I was staying in

On the western side of the river, the old town of Mertola sits above a hill

On the western side of the river, the old town of Mertola sits above a hill

A quiet roundabout in Mertola - this town was inhabited by Phoenicians, Carthaginians and the Romans

A quiet roundabout in Mertola - this town was inhabited by Phoenicians, Carthaginians and the Romans

Mertola fell into the Muslim hands after the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in the early 8th century

Mertola fell into the Muslim hands after the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in the early 8th century

After the weakness of the central government in Cordoba (Spain), Mertola became a taifa state

After the weakness of the central government in Cordoba (Spain), Mertola became a taifa state

Ibn Qasi ruled Mertola between 1144 and 1150

Ibn Qasi ruled Mertola between 1144 and 1150

The Almoravid controlled this town after their conquests in al-Andalus

The Almoravid controlled this town after their conquests in al-Andalus

Building of the Museum Hotel, which has a medieval museum from the Muslim period in its basement

Building of the Museum Hotel, which has a medieval museum from the Muslim period in its basement

Even to this day, the old town of Mertola is surrounded by the city walls

Even to this day, the old town of Mertola is surrounded by the city walls

Romans built the wall but later Muslim rulers enhanced and strengthened the wall

Romans built the wall but later Muslim rulers enhanced and strengthened the wall

The Muslim rulers not only built the walls but also a castle at the highest point of the town

The Muslim rulers not only built the walls but also a castle at the highest point of the town

One of the narrow streets in the whitewashed town of Mertola

One of the narrow streets in the whitewashed town of Mertola

A horseshoe shape arch is one of the typical examples of the Islamic architect

A horseshoe shape arch is one of the typical examples of the Islamic architect

Having a breakfast, while overlooking the River Guadiana

Having a breakfast, while overlooking the River Guadiana

Olive trees grown on a small terrace, inside the old town

Olive trees grown on a small terrace, inside the old town

Northern parts of Mertola - this town fell in the hands of Almohad in the12th century

Northern parts of Mertola - this town fell in the hands of Almohad in the12th century

N 265 road goes over the River Guadiana - this road connects Mertola with Serpa

N 265 road goes over the River Guadiana - this road connects Mertola with Serpa

A closer look at the bridge built over River Guadiana

A closer look at the bridge built over River Guadiana

Eastern bank of the River Guadiana - Mertola is situated in the middle of the Guadiana Valley Natural Park

Eastern bank of the River Guadiana - Mertola is situated in the middle of the Guadiana Valley Natural Park

This is a protected nature reserve situated in southeastern parts of Portugal in Alentejo region

This is a protected nature reserve situated in southeastern parts of Portugal in Alentejo region

Old buildings on the eastern bank of the river - seen from the old town of Mertola

Old buildings on the eastern bank of the river - seen from the old town of Mertola

A statue of Ibn Qasi (Abu-l-Qasim Ahmad ibn al-Husayn ibn Qasi) - this statue is situated beside the walls of the Mertola Castle

A statue of Ibn Qasi (Abu-l-Qasim Ahmad ibn al-Husayn ibn Qasi) - this statue is situated beside the walls of the Mertola Castle

In the past, a Muslim neighbourhood existed here - after the conquest of Mertola, this part of the town of was turned into a cemetery

In the past, a Muslim neighbourhood existed here - after the conquest of Mertola, this part of the town of was turned into a cemetery

Some of the graves inside Cemiterio de Mertola

Some of the graves inside Cemiterio de Mertola

External walls of the Mertola Castle rising above a house in the old town

External walls of the Mertola Castle rising above a house in the old town

One of the castle towers seen from path going up on Rua Elias Garcia

One of the castle towers seen from path going up on Rua Elias Garcia

Rua Elias Garcia offers panoramic views over the River Ribeira de Oeiras, its bridge and the surrounding areas

Rua Elias Garcia offers panoramic views over the River Ribeira de Oeiras, its bridge and the surrounding areas

The Blacksmith's Forge Centre is part of the Mertola Museum and it is located at Rua Elias Garcia

The Blacksmith's Forge Centre is part of the Mertola Museum and it is located at Rua Elias Garcia

This old forge is no longer in use but it shows how blacksmiths had worked in the past

This old forge is no longer in use but it shows how blacksmiths had worked in the past

Some of the tools to assist the blacksmiths are on display

Some of the tools to assist the blacksmiths are on display

There was a glass door at the entrance and entry to this small forge wasn't permitted

There was a glass door at the entrance and entry to this small forge wasn't permitted

Different tools were used in the iron work

Different tools were used in the iron work

This small museum preserves an old age profession of blacksmithing

This small museum preserves an old age profession of blacksmithing

Looking back at the castle walls, after coming out of the Blacksmith's Forge

Looking back at the castle walls, after coming out of the Blacksmith's Forge

A bridge over the River Ribeira de Oeiras on N122

A bridge over the River Ribeira de Oeiras on N122

A small mixer outside a house, where renovation waork was being carried out

A small mixer outside a house, where renovation waork was being carried out

A sign for the Centre for Islamic Studies and the Mediterranean

A sign for the Centre for Islamic Studies and the Mediterranean

This Islamic centre is run under the banner of Centre for Archaeological Studies from the Universities of Coimbra and Porto and Mertola’s Archaeological Site

This Islamic centre is run under the banner of Centre for Archaeological Studies from the Universities of Coimbra and Porto and Mertola’s Archaeological Site

An open space at Largo da Misericordia offers wonderful view of the River Guadiana

An open space at Largo da Misericordia offers wonderful view of the River Guadiana

The Religious Art Museum is located inside the old Igreja da Misericórdia de Mertola Church

The Religious Art Museum is located inside the old Igreja da Misericórdia de Mertola Church

Over the last twenty years the collection of statues, paintings and religious vessels was gathered from some churches in the district that had been abandoned and offered little security

Over the last twenty years the collection of statues, paintings and religious vessels was gathered from some churches in the district that had been abandoned and offered little security

This church exhibits religious statues dating back from 16th to 18th centuries

This church exhibits religious statues dating back from 16th to 18th centuries

These 16th-17th centuries statues are from the churches in Mertola and Sao Pedro de Solis

These 16th-17th centuries statues are from the churches in Mertola and Sao Pedro de Solis

In this painting, Santiago of the Castle is seen fighting against the Muslim armies

In this painting, Santiago of the Castle is seen fighting against the Muslim armies

Remains of the ancient port on the River Guardiana, stand the remains of imposing piers of a bridge lined up in the late Roman period

Remains of the ancient port on the River Guardiana, stand the remains of imposing piers of a bridge lined up in the late Roman period

The Romans had established a trading post in Mertola (called Myrtilis, during Roman times)

The Romans had established a trading post in Mertola (called Myrtilis, during Roman times)

The River Guadiana was navigable and it brought wealth to the town during the Muslim rule in this part of Portugal

The River Guadiana was navigable and it brought wealth to the town during the Muslim rule in this part of Portugal

The Guadiana seen from the Rua dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra

The Guadiana seen from the Rua dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra

A sign for Alsafir restaurant (written in Arabic and English) beside the Town Hall

A sign for Alsafir restaurant (written in Arabic and English) beside the Town Hall

Few signs on a wall which show the offices inside the Town Hall of Mertola

Few signs on a wall which show the offices inside the Town Hall of Mertola

In front of the Town Hall, there are few orange trees lined beside the wall

In front of the Town Hall, there are few orange trees lined beside the wall

Rua Dom Sancho II with the tower of the Matriz Church in the background

Rua Dom Sancho II with the tower of the Matriz Church in the background

Entrance of the Mercado Municipal (the Municipal Market) and it is situated at Praça Vasco da Gama

Entrance of the Mercado Municipal (the Municipal Market) and it is situated at Praça Vasco da Gama

This market sells fresh fruit and vegetables, olives and cheeses

This market sells fresh fruit and vegetables, olives and cheeses

A colourful wall, close to Rua 25 de Abril

A colourful wall, close to Rua 25 de Abril

A view of the Guadiana River and the city walls - after a long day of sightseeing in Mertola, now I was heading back to the hotel

A view of the Guadiana River and the city walls - after a long day of sightseeing in Mertola, now I was heading back to the hotel