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 Montalegre Castle is located on a hill dominating the village of Montalegre, which extends to south and east. It is classified as a Portuguese National Monument since 1910 and features a Special Protection Zone.
During the 20th century, the castle was target by several rehabilitation and recovery projects. Following the 1990 interventions, a museum was installed inside the castle.... view details
The Castle of Braga is a historical fortification and defensive line encircling the city of Braga. While, in fact, the only remains of this structure are the various gates and towers along its perimeter, the main keep tower, located in the civil parish of Sao Joao do Souto, is the only true remnant of the medieval castle.
The old castle, today demolished, had an approximate rectangular plan, with towers on each vertice. Of the walls of the city, only the gate, tower of Santiago, tower of Sao Sebastiao and Porta Nova remain (the latter being completely remodeled in a Rococo style and completely different stylistically).
The ancient wall can be seen in some of the backyards of homes along the Rua do Anjo and Rua ...... 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 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
Emblematic of Portuguese medieval military architecture, the Castle of Santa Maria da Feira is one of the monuments that best reflects the diversity of defenses used during the Middle Ages, having been instrumental in the process of Reconquista and autonomy of the County of Portugal. It has been listed as a National monument since 1910.
The Castle of Feira stands on the site of an indigenous temple dedicated to the local divinity Bandeve-Lugo Toiraeco, which was later transformed into a Marian temple. Being a transitional castle, there have been many military adaptations to site's defences over the years. The hilltop location was key in the defense of the castle during the Battle of Titania.
Throughout the castle grounds, there are many signs and monuments dedicated to important events during ...... view details
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