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
Belem Tower is a fortified tower and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with the nearby Jeronimos Monastery) because of the significant role it played in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries.
The tower was commissioned by King John II to be part of a defence system at the mouth of the Tagus river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. It was built in the early 16th century and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, but it also incorporates hints of other architectural styles.
The structure was built from lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion and a 30-metre four-storey tower. It has incorrectly been stated that the tower was built in the middle of the Tagus and ...... 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 Pena Palace stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon and much of its metropolitan area.
It is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
It is also used for state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other government officials.... 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
The Castle of Dona Chica is a Neo-romantic castle that was conceived and executed in 1915, by Swiss architect (and later naturalized Portuguese) Ernesto Korrodi. The project suffered from a lack of funds early, eventually changing hands and falling into the possession of creditors.
The Neo-romantic residence of Dona Chica shows a mixture of influences stylized to produce an aesthetic common to the early 20th century.... view details
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