Torre de Palma

Villa - Iron Age, Roman Period, Middle Ages e Modern Age (331)
The Palma Tower (Torre de Palma) roman villa is located on an extensive platform, with good visibility over the Alentejo plains. The Roman remains and structures are dispersed over two light slopes, separated by a small water line, occupying an area of about 13 000 m2. The archaeological works carried out identified traces of structures and artefacts, of an imposing Roman villa, with various stages of construction and occupation, chronologically set between 1st-century and 7th century AD (Roman period/Late Antiquity), as well as previous occupations (end of 7th century BC - beginning of the 5th century BC), which match an incineration necropolis and eventually, domestic structures; and later vestiges (medieval and modern) related to sepulchral and religious spaces. The residential area of this villa was organized around a rectangular shaped peristilum, allowing several compartments to communicate, many of them with floors covered with mosaics of great artistic quality. The triclinium (banquet room) presents a rectangular shape, being decorated with a mosaic displaying mythological scenes (Muses mosaic). The living room, or reception area with triple apse, displays a mosaic with five horses, which may be related to the breeding of these animals and/or their sporting relevance. The thermal complexes were located at the east and west ends of the villa, with preserved traces of multiple compartments and a plumbing systems. The pars rustica of this villa is quite extensive, having several functional areas (such as oil and wine presses, along with forges), storage spaces and compartments for the servants and slaves, which lack a more detailed analysis of their structures and materials. At the end of the 4th century, beginning of the 5th century AD, a rectangular shaped paleochristian basilica was built, north of town, above one of the high imperial necropolises, with three naves, monumental cruciform double baptistery, pavement covered by marble and an adjacent building (monastery or ecclesiastical school). A small chapel/ermida to St. Domingos was built during the 13th century on top of the vestiges of the basilica, providing evidence of a long diachrony in the religious occupation of this space. Around the paleochristian basilica several funerary areas were identified, which show the wide occupation frame of the of this space, as well as the deep religious and ritual transformations experienced during the Late Antiquity/Early Middle Ages.


This archaeological site has an interpretive centre with reception and exhibition areas, as well as a shop. It is also integrated in the "Itinerários Arqueológicos do Alentejo e Algarve" and in a route - "Grande Rota dos Montes de Monforte".

Visit conditions

Entrance with admission ticket


October to April: - Monday to Saturday 09.00 - 16.00 - Sunday 09.00 - 13.00 May to September: - Monday to Saturday 10.00 - 13.00 15.30 - 19.00 - Domingo 09.00 - 13.00 Closed: January 1st, Easter (Sunday), Monday of Pascoela, December 24th, 25th and 31th.



    How to get there? Best practices

    Best practices

    Good practices when visiting archaeological sites

    To visit an archaeological site is to connect with our origins, to understand our path and evolution as a species integrated in the environment, and to respect and safeguard our heritage so that future generations can also visit and enjoy it.

    Walking the paths and enjoying the structures and archaeological pieces that survived over time, fosters the understanding of what is different, but also of what is common among different populations: basically, what identifies us as Homo Sapiens.

    More than just vestiges and ruins of the past, archaeological sites showcase our capacity for creative thought, adaptation, interconnection, comprehension and resilience. Without these traits we would not have been successful as cultural beings participating in an ongoing evolutionary process. These sites also allow to consider choices made in the past thus contributing for decisions in the present to be made with greater awareness and knowledge.

    Archaeological sites are unique and irreplaceable. These sites are fragile resources vulnerable to changes driven by human development. The information they keep, if destroyed, can never be recovered again.

    As such, the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) invites all visitors to enjoy the beauty and authenticity of these sites, while helping to preserve them for future generations by adopting the following set of good practices:

    • Respect all signs; 
    • Do not try to access fenced areas; 
    • Do not climb, sit or walk on archaeological structures and remains; 
    • Respect areas where archaeological excavations are being carried out, not disturbing them; 
    • Do not collect materials or sediments;
    • Do not write or make graffiti on archaeological structures; 
    • Put the garbage in appropriate containers. If none exist, take the garbage with you until you find a suitable container; 
    • Leave the archaeological site as you found it; 
    • Do not drive bicycles or motor vehicles over archaeological sites; 
    • Respect and protect the plants and animals that live in the areas surrounding archaeological sites;
    • Report signs of vandalism or destruction to DGPC or Regional Directorates of Culture (DRC);
    • Share the visiting experience and the archaeological sites, as a way of raising awareness to their preservation and making them better known;
    • Do not buy archaeological materials and report to public security authorities, DGPC or DRC, if you suspect that archaeological materials may be for sale.

    Further information:

    AIA / ATTA (2013) – Guide to best practices for archaeological tourism. 

    Raposo, J. (2016) – Código de conduta para uma visita responsável a sítios arqueológicos. In Sítios arqueológicos portugueses revisitados: 500 arqueossítios ou conjuntos em condições de fruição pública responsável. Al-madan, 2ª série, p. 20 – 77. 

    DGPC contacts

    Phone: +351213614200 | Email:


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