Identified nine years ago and the subject of scientific excavations, the convent of warrior monks (murābitūn) founded by Ibn Qasī (Abūl – Qāsim Ahmad Ibn al-Husayn Ibn Qasī ), in the peninsula today called Ponta da Atalaia, in Arrifana of Aljezur, is found in only a few library references, following the disappearance of this known theologian and political leader in the mid 12th century.
It is a rare collection of archaeological structures, unique in Portugal and with only one other being known throughout the Iberian Peninsula. The remnants of eight mosques, madraza (Coranic School), minaret and other buildings were found, as well as diverse material, which characterizes the occupation of the area, offering a testimony to daily life and holy aspects.
Ibn Qasī, a native of Silves and coming from an ancient and wealthy Christian family, was educated by masters from Niebla, Seville and Silves. He had a somewhat dissolute life when young, dabbling in the arts and poetry, but thereafter occupied important administrative positions in the latter city, then booming capital of Gharb.
The landscape that integrates the peninsula of Ponta da Atalaia is magnificent, for its isolation and vast horizon, dominated by the presence of the enormous mass of water of the Atlantic.
The site of the ribāt was found to be symbolically hierarchical, through different structures of the built complex, most surely designed by the Sufi master.
The ruins of the ribāt al-Rihāna can be visited in Ponta da Atalaia, Vale da Telha, country of Aljezur.
Every year we have to cover all up again to protect the site, so its more interesting visit the location while the excavations are taking place.
All the archaeological founds are studied by this team in the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and then we published already some books about it and an itinerant exhibition with information and restored ceramic pieces.