The most beautiful castles in Portugal
Portuguese castles comprise an important part of the vast historical heritage of the country. Many of them were built over a millennium ago by the Moors, while others were constructed between the 12th and 15th centuries to defend the country from invasion by the other Iberian kingdoms which later formed Spain. Here are the most beautiful.
The castle of Algoso is one of the most important medieval fortifications in the eastern Tras-os-montes, related with the battles of Leonese succession, the tentative policies of the independent Portuguese monarch and the important religious commandery of the Knights Hospitaller that established their roots in 1224... view details
The Castle of Braganca is a well-preserved medieval castle located in the historic center of the city of Santa Maria, district of Braganca.
The castle is incredibly well-preserved. It has seen a turbulent history that saw occupation during the Moorish period to the devastation and reconstruction that accompanied the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. Today, it stands as a proud monument to the history of Portugal.... view details
The Castle of Castelo Melhor is one of the best examples of secondary medieval fortresses, erected in one of the more peripheral zones of the peninsular kingdom.
The castle is situated in a rural region, 450 metres above sea level, overlooking an urban settlement on the right margin of the Coa River.Its courtyard is built on the rock covered surface integrating large boulders.
The castle follows an irregular polygonal form on the hilltop. The damaged walls consist of small schist stone with 3-6 metres without merlons and access staircase to the battlements, with a triple arch gate in the northwest. A circular tower is located adorsed to the northern wall. Between the gate and tower are the vestiges of a reinforcement wall, similar to a structure along the ...... view details
During the eleventh century, the Castle of Penedono sat on the borders between the Christian kingdoms and the Muslim controlled-land. This led Penedono and its castle to change hands on several occasions. It finally landed in Christian hands upon conquest of the area by the Leonese King Fernando Magno in 1064.
With the political independence of Portugal under Afonso I of Portugal, the lands were incorporated into the new nation. Subsequently, his successor King Sancho I (1185-1211), realizing the strategic position on the then-border, encouraged the re-population through the granting of a Foral Charter in 1195.
The current configuration of the castle dates back to the reign of Ferdinand (1367-1383). The City Council at one point wanted to demolish the castle but the men of the village rose up and ...... view details
The Walls of D. Fernando or the Fernandina Wall is a medieval castle located in the civil parish of Cedofeita, Santo Ildefonso, Se, Miragaia, Sao Nicolau e Vitoria, in the municipality of Porto.
Many of the structures, including walls and towers, are integrated into the buildings of the old town, with the main wall being the Guindais wall and tower, relatively isolated over the margin of the river. The best remaining example of the Fernandino wall fortifications is preserved in the cliffs of Guindais, over the river.... view details
The Castle of Lindoso is constructed using stone masonry walls, the top of which is surrounded by a battlement. The north and south ends of the tower are accessible by doors opened by drawbridge. The keep still stands, having been divided into two floors.
The castle saw a defensive state in the Napoleonic Wars but never saw action. It has never been used since. Peace time took its toll. Neglect and lack of maintenance saw the castle slowly wear away from the weather and elements. The Castle of Lindoso was declared a National Monument in 1910.... view details
The Castle of Abrantes was part of the Reconquista fortifications that made up the Tagus Line, a line of castles and outposts during the Middle Ages.
The Castle has an imposing position on the right margin of the Tagus River, surmounting a hilltop overlooking the town and local landscape. It is a characteristic hilltop fortification, located on a 197-metre high plateau dominating the town, designed to take advantage of the steep incline of the northeast escarpment.
It was recently integrated into a tourist region called the Tourist Region of the Templars. ... view details
Sabugal Castle is one of Portugal's best-kept castles, rising at the top of a mount surrounded by river Coa. Prior to the foundation of Portugal, this castle was occupied in 1296 by King D. Dinis.
Restored under the ruling period of D. Manuel, Sabugal Castle was given the arms that can be seen over the castle's entry door. In 1811, during the 3rd French Invasion, the Portuguese and British troops settled here to prepare the attack against the French army that was about to retreat.
The fortified facility has four towers in the vertexes, a citadel and an over 20m high keep upon the walls.... view details
The Castle of Almourol is a medieval castle, located on a small islet in the middle of the Tagus River. It was part of the defensive line controlled by the Knights Templar, and a stronghold used during the Portuguese Reconquista.
The Castle of Almourol is one of the more emblematic medieval military monuments of the Reconquista, and best representation of the influence of the Knights Templar in Portugal. When it was conquered in 1129, by forces loyal to the Portuguese nobility, it was known as Almorolan, and placed in the trust of Gualdim Pais, the master of the Knights Templar in Portugal, who rebuilt the structure.
Losing its strategic place, it was abandoned resulting in its fall into ruins. In the 19th century, it was "reinvented" by ...... view details
The first historical information about the area date back to the reign of the first King of Portugal Afonso I (1112-1185), when the landlord of region donated the lands to the Bishop of Coimbra on 6 May 1168.
After the establishment of the Alcanices Treaty in 1297 with the consequent expansion of the frontiers to the west, the Belmonte Castle lost strategic importance, while the town was developing extramural.
In the midst of the war of Restoration for Portuguese's independence, the castle received some modernization efforts but it was damaged by fire in 1694. The building next to the castle was employed as a prison in the 18th century.... view details
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