Almourol Castle

Almourol Castle



Location: Vila Nova de Barquinha parish  Map

Constructed: 1171

Open: daily during daylight

Info: Largo 1 Dezemoro, Barquinha

Tel. 249 720 358


Description of Almourol Castle


Almourol Castle is a medieval citadel situated in Vila Nova de Barquinha parish in Portugal.  First military fortifications on a site of present day Almourol Castle were constructed here in the first century BC by the Romans. Their Lusitanian castro subsequently conquered by Alans, Visigoths and Moors (Arabs). Finally the castle was conquered in 1129 by Christian Portuguese forces. In 1171 new castle was constructed on the same spot. Over time Almourol lost much of its importance as a military citadel. It was eventually abandoned and only in the 19th century reconstruction was undertaken.


The rocky island on which Almourol is located has long been of strategic importance, controlling the waterway along the river. According to archaeological excavations, the first fortifications appeared here around the 1st century BC. e. Later there were in turn fortifications of the Alans, Visigoths and, finally, the Moors. It is reliably known that when the soldiers of the first king of Portugal Afonso I Enriques appeared in these lands in 1129, there was already a Moorish castle on the island.

The current castle was built by the Templars near their main residence, the castle of Tomar, in 1160-1171. With the dissolution of the order in 1312, the castle was empty. In the 19th century, romantic patriots set about rebuilding the castle from ruins. The reconstructed castle has little in common with its medieval prototype. Nevertheless, it was included in the list of national monuments of Portugal (June 16, 1910). In the 1940-1950s, the castle was rebuilt again - under one of the Salazar residences.