Relive the History of Portugal by participating in a unique route where the origins of the country were designed. Around the largest Portuguese mountain, the Serra da Estrela, you will find many of our roots. The Route of the 20 Castles will make you return to the beginning of the nationality, at the time of the definition of the most old European frontiers, at the time of the struggles for the construction of a Country and a People. Have a good tour!

The Route of the 20 Castles

Belmonte

Belmonte In a fortified hill at 615 m altitude, in the village of Belmonte, is one of the most symbolic Portuguese castles.

There was born Pedro Álvares Cabral, discoverer of Brazil. The castle watches over valley of the river Zêzere and is overlooking the Church of Santiago and Capelas of St. Anthony and Calvary. The building is due to D. Sancho I, in 1199, date of the charter. In 1297, it loses strategic importance with the advancement of the border Treaty of Alcañices.

In 1392, the bishopric of Coimbra exchanged the village of Belmonte with that of Arganil and The castle reverts, shortly afterwards, to the crown, passing the alcaidaria to Luís Álvares Cabral. In 1466, the Village and castle are donated to Fernão Cabral by D. Afonso V and the Cabrais residence is transferred into the castle. The construction of the building next to the door dates from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Tower of Menagem has a square plan and is attached to the wall.

Guarda

Guarda It is the castle that is located at a higher altitude in Portugal (1056m). It has a walled perimeter surrounding the entire core medieval.

The isolated Tower is located on a hill and the Tower of Ferreiros, the half-slope, is attached. The beginning of construction of the The walls were found at the end of the 19th century. XII. The first turret was built on the reign of D. Sancho II, as well as the Tower of Menagem. The definitive conclusion, after new constructive outbreaks, ended in the XV.

It is a Romanesque-Gothic type castle. The perimeter of the walls is of irregular configuration. The Tower of Menagem has irregular pentagonal plant. The Tower of the Blacksmiths, square plant, integrating double door.

Of the ancient gates of the walls are: Blacksmiths and the Gate of the Grass (or the Star), to the East; the Porta d 'El - Rei and the Porta Falsa, to the north.

Ponte de Sequeiros

Ponte de Sequeiros Fortified bridge that allows crossing the Côa river in slopes of great granite outcrops. The bridge is supported by three full arches, the central one having the largest diameter. It features a square-shaped tower with a full arch both sides. This bridge would act as a border marking before of the incorporation of the lands of Riba-Côa in the national territory. Construction will have taken place no century XIII. The bridge is of Romanesque typology and has two carvings, rampant faceted board and parapet in masonry. The floor is paved with continuity on sidewalk. The Tower means the military device for marking the frontier toll.

Sortelha

It is located in a granite head, inaccessible by the South slope. It integrates the urban nucleus of the Historical Village, surrounded by the wall line. The castle occupies the highest place on the top of an isolated cliff. In 1228, he had a charter (D. Sancho II), which is the probable date of the castle's construction. In 1510, the charter was renovated by D. Manuel and in 1527, the county head was elevated by D. João III in favor of Luís da Silveira, King's bodyguard. This is a mountain castle, Romanesque and Gothic, with Manueline intervention.

The urban perimeter is of irregular oval tracing. The Citadel is located on the outer side of the fence, with the Tower, square plan in the center of the enclosure. The walled urban perimeter has four doors, the Door of the Village (or the County), the East in a broken arch and covered with concordant vault; the Porta Nova, on the opposite side (or New Door of the Village) with full arch and vaulted crib, the Porta Falsa, the Northwest in broken arch, another Porta Falsa in the South, next to the castle with arches outside and inside. To the northwest, the Facho Tower is located, near the Porta Falsa. It is a tower of square plan and next to the Door of the Village, is a guard tower of circular plant and conical crown.

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