Gothic Castles in Portugal

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The striking Gothic castle of Guimarães in Portugal.

Guimarães Castle

Guimarães Castle, originally an early fortification from around 950 AD, its current Gothic characteristics, elaborated on the French model with a reduced central yard and difficult accesses, owns to a reconstruction at the end of the 13th and early 14th centuries, when the keep tower and residential houses were built over pre-existing structures.

São Jorge Castle dominates the historic centre of Lisbon, Portugal.

São Jorge Castle

São Jorge Castle, standing in the historic, downtown area of the capital city of Lisbon, consists of the castle itself (castelejo), the ruins of a royal palace, gardens, and a large terraced square from which an impressive panorama of the city is visible.

Bragança Castle

Bragança Castle, built during a transitional period of late Gothic, displays several characteristics that announce the dawn of modern fortresses: such as lower semi-circular turrets with embrasures, or ‘troneiras’ for artillery positions.

Santa Maria da Feira Castle

Santa Maria da Feira Castle is located on a small hilltop overlooking the urban valley of Feira. Being a transitional castle, there have been many military adaptations to site’s defences over the years. Its current layout results from Gothic reconstructions when its keep was reshaped as a result of the addition of four turrets topped with conical roofs.

Leiria Castle

Leiria Castle, the present configuration was influenced by three major construction periods: Romanesque, Dionisian and Joanine Gothic. In 1386 a new royal residence was added, called ‘Paços novos’ or new palace, featuring a magnificent a ‘loggia’, chambers and dining halls.

Penedono Castle

Penedono Castle, forming an irregular heptagon encircled by a low barbican that accompanies the same elevation of the rocky hilltop. With a staircase leading to the two slender towers at the entrance. The walls are crowned by parallelepiped merlons with pyramidal tops.

Óbidos Castle

Óbidos Castle is siutuated in one of the best preserved and known Medieval villages in Portugal, both the fortress and the enclosed settlement was part of the marriage dowry to Portuguese queens since 1282.

Marvão Castle

Marvão Castle stands at 867 meters at its highest point, enclosing the urban area. It post-dates the year 1299, and features numerous typical characteristics of a crusader era castle, including a tall central keep, a series of outlying towers (some semi-circular), high-placed arrow-slits, and open spaces to shelter villagers and troops.

Sabugal Castle

Sabugal Castle was built after the conquest of the region of Riba Côa by king D.Dinis in 1296. Completed by 1303, under the direction of Frei Pedro, a monk and stone mason from Alcobaça Monastery.

Algoso Castle

Algoso Castle is a Hospitaller fortress with an heptagonal keep and machicoulis over the entrance door providing more vertical angles to inflict damage on aggressors. The inner walls are cramped and dominated by large stones of various dimensions.

Elvas Castle

Elvas Castle is known as the ‘kingdom’s key’. Elvas was been the first stronghold at the border since the Middle Ages. In the 17th and 18th century Vauban-star forts were added to it’s Islamic and Gothic fortifications.

Beja Castle

Beja Castle features a keep tower with 40 meters high, the highest on the Iberian Peninsula, built in the reign of D.Fernando (1367-1383). The castle itself presents an irregular pentagonal plan, with a partially encircling irregular barbican, to which the city wall converges.

Monsaraz Castle

Monsaraz Castle is close to the Guadiana River and the modern Alqueva Dam. Situated on Mount Monsaraz, the castle has a commanding view over the Medieval village and an on to the border with Spain. Its architecture mixes Islamic and Gothic features.

Arraiolos Castle

Arraiolos Castle has a circular plan, a rare feature in castles. It was built between 1306 and 1310. Embedded in the northern section of the wall is the ‘Paço dos Alcaides.’

Portel Castle

Portel Castle has a pentagonal plan with cylindrical towers. Its design, a novelty in the Portuguese military architecture at the time, seems to have been inspired by the Château d’Angers in France. The prominent feature of the castle is an imposing square shaped donjon, which stands at about twenty-five meters high.