Sabugal Castle

Sabugal Castle


Location: Sabugal, Guarda District   Map


Description of Sabudal Castle


Sabudal Castle is a medieval fortress situated in the city of Sabudal in Guarda District in the Central Portugal. Sabudal Castle was constructed in the late 13th century by King Dinis (1275-1325) on a hill overlooking crossing of Côa river. Protective walls of the castle consists of two walls that protect the inner courtyard, square towers and a barbican (fortified outpost). Its imposing keep known as "Torre das Cinco Quinas" reaches a height of 28 metre. In 1641 reconstruction of the medieval fortifications were undertaken to strengthen crumbling walls and tower. Fortress also got a clock tower around this time. During the third French invasion it served as a base for the Portuguese troops as well as British soldiers who aided them in struggle against the French forces.


According to archaeological evidence , it is assumed that the elevation on which the present castle stands , dominating the course of the Côa river , has been occupied by humans since prehistoric times , who would have erected a castro there .

With the Roman invasion of the Iberian Peninsula , an extensive network of roads was cut across the peninsula, one crossing the Côa in this stretch. It is assumed that this people maintained a small military garrison on the same site for the surveillance and defense of the river crossing. Centuries later, he became acquainted with Germanic and Muslim peoples , of which no further evidence remained.

The medieval castle
At the time of the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula , the lands of Sabugal were initially conquered possibly by D. Afonso Henriques (1112-1185) in 1160 , soon to be lost to the kingdom of León .

In 1190 , Alfonso IX de Leão created the Municipality of Sabugal, and the village was founded around 1224 , when a defensive stronghold was started.

A member of the territory of Ribacôa , conquered to Leo by D. Dinis (1279-1325), received Letter of Foral of that Portuguese sovereign in 1296 . However, his definitive possession for Portugal was only ensured by the Treaty of Alcanices in 1297 . The sovereign, from then sought to consolidate these boundaries, making rebuild the Castle Tailors , the Castle of Almeida , the Castle Good , the Castelo Melhor , the Castelo Mendo , the Castelo Rodrigo , the pinhel castle , the Castle of Sabugaland the Vilar Maior Castle .

In this context, the works of enlargement and reform of its castilian defense begin, clearing the intramural space where some houses of the village were erected and reinforcing the walls that gained by two great turrets dominated by a tall keep. . The works, referred to by Rui de Pina ( Chronicle of D. Dinis ), were completed in 1303 , under the direction of Friar Pedro, from the Alcobaça Monastery . Is credited yet, to this sovereign, the establishment in these areas, a coutohomized, a privilege that aimed to attract people. Some documents confirm that this privilege was still in force at the end of the 15th century .

In the reign of King Manuel I (1495-1521), the Sabugal Castle is figured by Duarte de Armas ( Book of Fortresses , c. 1509 ), having received beneficiation works, completed in 1515 , as epigraphic inscription on the main gate. This sovereign granted the Foral Novo to the villa on June 1 , 1515.


War of the Restoration to our days

In the context of the War of Restoration , modernization works were carried out in its structure, as well as later built the so-called Clock Tower.

In the 17th century , the poet and knight Brás Garcia de Mascarenhas was arrested , famous for his adventures and for his no less famous epic poem Viriato Tragic.

In the early nineteenth century , in the context of the Peninsular War , it quartered English and Portuguese troops who fought back the retreating Napoleonic troops , under the command of General André Masséna (April 1811 ). Subsequently unguarded and abandoned, its square of arms was used by the population of the village as a cemetery , from 1846 to about 1927 . In the meantime, the inhabitants began to remove stones from the walls to reuse them in their buildings.

In the twentieth century , in 1911 the Church of Nossa Senhora do Castelo was demolished . Later, in the 1940s , the process of depredation of the monument was halted thanks to the action of the Directorate General of National Buildings and Monuments (DGEMN), which promoted a broad campaign of consolidation and reconstruction works.

Between 1993 and 1994 a new campaign of restoration work, seeking to return to the monument its original features. More recently, with evidence of cracks in the walls and partial collapse of elements from one of the barbican's turrets and some battlements ( 1999 ) at the dawn of the 21st century , DGEMN launched a tender for the restoration and consolidation of the walls. and castle towers, as well as the construction of an open -air amphitheater and its supporting facilities ( 2001 ). Work was carried out between 2003 and 2005, when the monument was expected to reopen to the public.