One of the older parishes in the municipality, it was founded in 1485 by King John II, the area was constituted to serve an economic and defensive role in the Alentejo, at the confluence of the Mira River, and benefitted from its strategic importance as a safe harbour.
The first inhabitants were prisoners sentenced by minor crimes; 50 years after it was established the population of the parish was little more than ten families.
The village was frequently attacked by pirates, and destroyed completely in 1590, resulting in the construction of fortress, around 1602: the Fort of São Clemente (Portuguese: Forte de São Clemente), which was constructed between 1599 and 1602 (during the reign of King Phillip II).
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