Portugal has several Castles that were built to prevent invaders, mainly Spanish, and to ensure the security of the borders. They are medieval buildings, some in ruins and others in perfect condition.
It was a challenge to choose some castles that are worth visiting, but in this article we have collected 8 that are worth being on your travel itinerary.
Castelo de São Jorge (Lisbon) : Castelo de São Jorge is located at the highest point of the city and the first forts of the castle were built in the 1st century BC. It was rebuilt several times by different peoples that gave it different names. Currently he takes the name of the patron saint of knights and crusades, São Jorge (Saint George). Those who visit the site will find a bustling castle with various activities both for children and adults, and is delighted with beautiful views of Lisbon and the Tagus River.
Castelo dos Mouros (Sintra): Built on the top of an isolated rock in Serra de Sintra, the Castle reveals a breathtaking view and is surrounded by lush gardens that extend to the Atlantic Ocean. The Castle is a monument to the Moorish occupation of the 8th Century. It was definitively conquered by D. Afonso Henriques, in 1147, after several attempts. In 1860, D. Fernando II restored the walls and forested the castle area, giving the place a new appearance.
Castelo de Marvão (Alentejo): Marvão Castle is located in Serra de São Mamede Natural Park, in the district of Portalegre. In the early days, Marvão was conquered by D. Afonso Henriques of Muslims, and later reconquered by Moors in 1190. Its walls were used to monitor and guard the border with Spain. Currently, Marvão Castle dominates the mountain landscape from its highest point. The fantastic view that the area offers becomes unforgettable.
Castelo de Óbidos (Leiria): The medieval village of Óbidos is one of the most unique and well preserved in Portugal. Located about an hour away from Lisbon, Óbidos was strategically important for the territory due to its location on a high point and close to the coast. Inside the walls, and we find a preserved castle and a maze of narrow streets and houses with flowered windows. Any season is perfect for visiting Óbidos. With a perfect romantic setting and a charming atmosphere, Óbidos is a great suggestion for a weekend off, a real medieval village that you cannot miss and be enchanted.
Almourol Castle (Tomar): Located in the middle of an island in the Tagus River, the Almourol Castle is one of the most emblematic monuments for the Christian reconquest of the territory during the Middle Ages. With the arrival of the Christians in 1129, the castle was handed over to the Templars. After the extinction of the Order of the Templars, the castle fell into oblivion. Currently the castle has a Romantic style from the 19th Century.
Guimarães Castle: The fortress was built in the 10th Century by order of Countess Mumadona Dias with the objective of protecting the Christian community and the monks who lived in the region. In the 12th Century, Count D. Henrique and D. Teresa went to live in Guimarães, expanding the castle. Legend has it that in this castle the first king of Portugal was born, D. Afonso Henriques.
Castelo de Tavira (Algarve): It was built during Muslim rule, between the 8th and 13th Centuries. After the Christian reconquest, the castle was restored by order of D. Dinis. Currently, the castle offers a fantastic view of the city and maintains its medieval characteristics.
Castelo de Silves (Algarve): Muslim building erected between the 12th and 13th Centuries, it underwent some restorations after the Christian reconquest in 1242, by several Portuguese kings. The construction is made with clay, gravel, sand, lime and red sandstone, which gives the fortification a reddish color. The Silves Castle offers one of the best viewpoints over the city and the region.
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