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 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
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 Campo Maior is a medieval military fortification and part of a first line of defense in the Portuguese Alentejo, oriented towards Spain, in conjunction with the military forts of Ouguela, Elvas, Olivenca and Juromenha.
It is a walled bulwark of the modern era, highlighted by a Renaissance-era window in the northern tower of the castle. It has been listed as a National monument since 1911.... view details
The Castle of Mertola is situated in an urban area on the hilltop, implanted in the rocky landscape bisected near the Guadiana River and the Ribeira de Oeiras. Situated nearby is the former Islamic mosque, transformed into the Church of Nossa Senhora da Assuncao. The irregular, rectangular fortress includes four towers.
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The Castle of Castro Marim was part of the defensive line controlled by the Knights Templar, a stronghold used during the Portuguese Reconquista, and adapted during the Restoration War to defend the frontier.
The castle is located in a unique landscape due to the proximity of salt and mouth of the Guadiana River. Within the castle fortification are two epigraphic inscriptions: one, the first to record a settlement established by a Portuguese monarch, while the second carving identifies the alterations occurring under the reign of King Denis.... view details
Classified a National Monument since1924, the Castle of Loule has three towers remaining within the cordon of walls; these are the remnants of the alcaldaria located within the structure. The majority of the walls are integrated into the buildings of the growing city, outside the perimeter of the original walls.... view details
The Castle of Aljezur is a medieval castle founded in the parish of Aljezur, overlooking the Aljezur River . Excavations in the castle have discovered that the location was occupied during the Bronze and Iron Ages, while the parade grounds, habitational structures, and two silos date to the 12th and 13th centuries.
The castle was part of the Moorish defensive line of Silves, during the Almohad Caliphate and era of the Iberian taifas. Around 1242, Aljezur was conquered by knights loyal to Paio Peres Correia. As legend suggests, the conquest of the castle was aided by a Moorish woman, who betrayed her fellow countrymen and delivered the citadel into the hands of the knights.
In 1996, the CMA of Aljezur issued a public tender to elaborate a project to reconstruct, preserve ...... view details
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 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
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