Portugal is one of the two countries in Europe with more castles than the Alentejo, with no exception. There are almost 500 in the whole country, some are more preserved than others. The castles will play a crucial role in our history and serve as a bulwark of defense against the attacks of the Moors or the Spaniards. Os castelos do Alentejo foram cruciais nesse papel.
Ao longo dos seculos, foram sendo construídos castelos and other fortificações um little by all the Alentejo. A raia (border between Portugal and Spain) has to be defended, many times by a number of soldiers that is less than that of Spain. But there are castles in the Alentejo that, after peace between the two countries, were abandoned and entered a marked decline.
I am just looking at traces of the turbulent history that, for centuries, has been in these paragens. They do not fulfill their defensive function but serve, above all, as tourist attractions. Discover 5 abandoned castles in Alentejo.
1. Castle of Noudar
The castle of Noudar is located between the banks of the Múrtega and the Ardila river, a place chosen for its natural defense, with easy access and the possibility of using water of excellent quality from the Fonte da Figueira, 250 meters from this castle, located not called Cerro da Forca.
The castle was built in 1307, not in the reign of D. Dinis. By perto, there are boas lands for agriculture, and extensive mounts for cattle grazing. This fortress played an important role in the defense of the border with Castela, at the beginning of the 14th century.
2. Castle of Valongo
It would be unthinkable for an abandoned castle, in private hands, to become ruined without anyone doing something. But it is the same thing that happens in Alentejo, in Castelo Real de Montoito, also called Castle of Valongo. Or castelo is located 25 kilometers from Évora, between Montoito and Valongo, and look for the deixa-nos sem palavras, mainly because of the state of degradation in which it is found.
The Valongo Castle is one of two rare Portuguese castles with a typically medieval design, since there are now more medieval castles in our country, these forms have been greatly altered over the years. Second, it is stated in some documents, or castelo suffered works in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, I currently have a menagem tower with a Manueline trace.
3. Castle of Ouguela
Located in Campo Maior, Ouguela is a typical and beautiful Alentejo village, perhaps one of the most secret in the region. Not on top of a mountain with 270 meters of altitude, or Ouguela’s castle olha altivo for a landscape around the back and face us to its main function in the past: to defend the raid.
Romans and Visigoths passed through here, but it would have been the Moors who created the first murals that would come, later, to give rise to the castle. It was one of the two most important castles in the Alentejo region, but it lost its importance when we closed down the times of peace.
4. Castle of Veiros
It is about two of the most peculiar castles of Alentejo (and ate of Portugal). O castelo de Veiros, located in a small village with the same name, was built in success, with details of granite and marble, something very uncommon. The most famous castle in the country is the one from Lousã and almost all the other forams are built in granite.
The date of its construction is not known and it is hardly known that its menagem tower will have been ordered to be built during the reign of D. Dinis. Fazia is part of a strategic group of castles with the function of defending this area from the Alentejo raid, together with the castles of Campo Maior, Monforte and Ouguela.
5. Juromenha Fortress
In the deep Alentejo, we can find a place that takes us to other times, rich in battles, wars and fight for independence. We fell from Juromenha, to “Sentinela do Guadiana”, which keeps innumerable memories of some of the two most important episodes in our history. These are two of the greatest symbols of the struggle for the defense of the Portuguese territory, but which, unfortunately, are found or abandoned.
The earthquake of 1755 greatly damaged the fortress, which would never be the same again. With peace with Spain, it lost its crucial role in defending its territory, which led to the slow definition of the village and the exodus of its population.