São Clemente Fort (patron of maritime causes), also known as Milfontes Castle, was built between 1509 and 1602.
Its construction was ordered by King Philip II of Portugal in order to protect the location of the constant attacks from the moorish pirates – during the second half of the fifteenth century, Milfontes was constantly attacked by pirates from North Africa.
Like other military buildings of the same period, São Clemente Fort is a project of an Italian engineer, Alexandre Massaii. This architect was also responsible for building the Fortress of Pessegueiro Island and the reconstruction of Sines Castle.
São Clemente Fort: Private Property
After losing military and strategic importance, São Clemente Fort was put up for sale at a public auction and was purchased in 1903 by Valerius Stinger, an infantry captain.
Six years later changed hands again, becoming the property of Francisco de Jesus Goncalves.
For four decades, its new owners neglected the conservation of space, until in 1940 the fort was acquired by Dom Luís Manuel de Castro e Almeida.
In Don Luis possession, São Clemente Fort was then restored and became a rural tourism space sui generis. In practice, the fort was one of the first spaces for habitation tourism across the country.
Popularly known as “Milfontes Castle”, the building was classified as a Public Interest Real State by Decree 95/78, published on September 12, 1978.
With the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park creation, saw again its importance recognized, being considered Cultural Heritage.
Besides its historical importance, the building stands out for its prime location that offers a stunning view over the Mira mouth.
Despite its importance, the São Clemente Fort is currently for sale.