Evoramonte Castle (Évora Monte or Évoramonte)

Evoramonte Castle


Location: Evoramonte, Évora District    Map

Constructed: 1160


Description of Evoramonte Castle

Evoramonte Castle is a medieval fortifications in the town of Evoramonte, Évora District in Portugal. Although the site of Evoramonte Castle was inhabited since prehistoric times, the history of the castle begins in 1160 then Portuguese armies under leadership of Gerard Fearless defeated Moors (Arabs) and constructed their citadel to secure their possession of the newly acquired lands. It seems that military fortifications were reconstructed in the early 14th century and again in the 16th century after devastating earthquake of 1531. Bishop Theodosius of Braganza order construction of a palace in a style of an Italian Renaissance. Over time the castle lost much of its military importance, but it remained a powerful symbol of national pride and history.
Evoramonte Castle played an important role in Portuguese history as this was the site of signing of Concession of Evoramonte (or Convention of Evoramonte) on May 26, 1834 by Dom Pedro IV and Dom Miguel I. This document ended Civil War (1828- 34) between Constitutionalists and the Miguelites or Absolutists (as in Absolute Monarchy). Dom Miguel was forced to leave Portugal, while the first became an undisputed ruler of the land. In 1910 castle was designated as a National Monument under special protection from a government.



It is believed that the primitive human occupation of this site dates back to prehistory.

the medieval castle
At the time of the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the village was conquered from the Moors by the Portuguese forces commanded by the legendary Geraldo Sem Pavor, around 1160, when the castle began.

Its defenses were recovered by order of D. Afonso III (1248-1279), sovereign who granted it the first charter (1248), renewed in 1271. These attempts at settlement, however, do not seem to have been successful, since his successor, D. Dinis (1279-1325), ordered the fortification of the village (1306), from whom the fence and the gates came to us.

With the accession of D. João, Master of Avis to the throne, the Castle of Evoramonte and its domains passed to the possession of Constable D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, later coming to integrate the domains of the House of Bragança and the House of Bragança-Saxe -Coburg and Gotha.

At the beginning of the Modern Age, King Manuel I of Portugal (1495-1521) granted the town a Foral Novo (1516), initiating a new construction phase. As the keep of the old castle was destroyed by the earthquake of 1531, the following year, under the direction of the chief mayor, D. Teodósio de Bragança, it was rebuilt in the form of an Italian Renaissance-inspired Palace, with a risk attributed to the architects Diogo and Francisco de Arruda.

From the 19th century to the present day
The village and its castle lost strategic importance over the centuries. Here the Convention of Evoramonte was signed (May 26, 1834) ending the Liberal Wars. Finally, on the 24th of October 1855, the municipality was definitively extinct, and its former term was shared by the neighboring municipalities of Estremoz, Évora, Arraiolos and Redondo.

Consolidation and restoration work began at the end of the 1930s and continued in the 1940s. New intervention campaigns followed one another from 1971 to 1987, giving the monument its current appearance.

In 2021, it ceased to be under the tutelage of the Government, passing to the responsibility of the Chamber.



The castle, in stone masonry and granite ashlar, has a quadrangular plan, with circular turrets at the corners, mixing Gothic elements with the Italian-inspired Renaissance style. Internally, it is divided into three floors, with vaulted ceilings, based on ashlar pillars. In the turrets wider at the base than at the top, visors are torn. The cloths are decorated with knots carved in stone, typical of the Manueline style.