Castelo dos Templarios, Castelo Branco

#12 of 15 in Things to do in Castelo Branco
Castle · Hidden Gem · Landmark
The Castle of Castelo Branco, is a Portuguese medieval castle in civil parish of Castelo Branco, in the municipality of the same name, in the Centro district of Castelo Branco. Known locally, as the Castelo dos Templários, the Romanesque castle was constructed under the orders of King Afonso II of Portugal in 1214.HistoryIn 1165, the territory of that would become Castelo Branco was conquered from the Moors and donated to the Knights Templar, who at the time dominated Vila Franca da Cardosa. But, by 1198, King Sancho revised the donation so that half the lands of Castelo Branco were placed within the control of Fernando Sanches. Following the model of Ávila/Évora, in 1213 a foral (charter) was issued in 1213. By the following year Cardosa was bequeathed to the Order of the Templo, confirmed in a papal bull issued by Innocence III (in 1245) where, for the first time, the name of Castelo Branco appeared.The first fortification wall was constructed by the Knights Templar between 1214 and 1230, thereby extending their defensive line with Tomar, Monsanto, Zêzere, Almourol and Pombal. Sometime in the last year, D. Simãeo Mendes, Master of the Knights Templar, ordered the construction of a palace for his knight commanders.By the end of the 13th century, during the reign of King Denis the castle included four gates: the Golden Gate, the Gate of Santiago, the Traitors' Gate and the Pelame Gate. In the middle of that century a second curtain of walls was constructed that resulted in the existence of seven gates, rather than the three primitive structures. Sometime during this period construction on the keep tower, that was addorsed to the wall was executed, supported from taxes on cereal grains, wine, meat, hospital leftovers, bottles and residual funds from public wills to approximately 600 pounds.
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  • This castle had open doors and many rooms open. Full of information and the artifacts are still there. Amazing experience. Spent 2 hours there and didn’t spend anymore cause we were hungry. You’ll be....  more »
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