Photographer's Note

This is the main square of the older part of the small town of Crato.

The rock pole on the left is a pillory (pelourinho in Portuguese). It was the place where public punishments of criminal offences were held in ancient times. Any Portuguese town or village that had some importance in the Middle Ages has its own pillory.

That Maltese cross on the top of it is a sign of the rulers of the town and its neighbourhoods since the 13th century, the 'Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem', also known as 'Order of Malta' and 'Order of the Hospital' (Hospitalary Knights), an important religious and military organization that was formed during the Crusades supposedly to protect the pilgrims that went visiting the Holly Land (Palestine). If you have never heard of them, probably you know about their rivals, the fabled Templar Knights. Crato was the headquarters of the Order of Malta in Portugal for many centuries and its people are still very proud of that old glory.

Link to all my posts of Crato: *.

Location (latitude, longitude): 39.2869,-7.6447

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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