Çi biri tarreguejá, dêta-t´a cantá
Çi biri bêrdeguejá, dêta-t´a xura
The above proverb, practically incomprehensible to Portuguese speakers, is in an obscure dialect based on a strange mixture of Portuguese and Spanish as spoken in the Barrancos area.
So we can say that in this borough, the people speak 'Barranquese', and this is an example of the difference between it and the rest of the Alentejo.
Barrancos is almost surrounded by Spain and it is the most easterly borough of the Beja region. Barranco's location next to the border led to the consolidation of a unique culture with singular features such as the dialect, architecture and the festivities during August, which are reminiscent of Andalusia over the border.
The history of the borough, whose most important settlement up to the 17th century was Noudar (now an abandoned castle), includes innumerable battles, invasions and alliances with neighbouring Spain. It was donated to Portugal in 1283 by the Castilian king Afonso X but was taken again in 1339 only to return to the Portuguese crown once more in 1372 as the wedding dowry of Queen Leonor Teles when she married king Fernando, but in 1385 it decided to remain faithful to the Castilians. This kind of situation continued for a few centuries and the last Castilian occupation was as recent as the 18th century. On visiting the Noudar castle we can understand how important it must have been in the past. Nowadays, we can appreciate the charm of the surrounding landscape viewed from its battlements, The irregular terrain provides interesting scenery full of hills and valleys through which the Murtega and Ardila streams flow.
The wild countryside is a natural haven for black storks, black vultures and kites that migrate to the area. The rough terrain has obviously contributed towards the barren landscapes which have little or no signs of human habitation. There are hills throughout the whole region with copses of cork-oak and holm-oak trees and spring is proclaimed by a white mass of rock-roses in bloom. It is in this environment that a local breed of black pigs is raised. The good quality smoked hams and sausage-like stuffed pork pro- ducts must have something to do with the open air life and the nutrients these pigs extract from the wilds.
Courtesy of Regiao de Turismo da Planicie Dourada.