Santa Maria da Feira Castle

Santa Maria da Feira Castle



Location: Largo do Castelo, Aveiro District Map

Tel. 256 372 248

Open: Tue- Sun


Description of Santa Maria da Feira Castle

Santa Maria da Feira Castle is a medieval citadel situated in the town of Santa Maria da Feira in Aveiro District of Portugal. Although the current structure of Santa Maria da Feira Castle was constructed in 14th century, this strategic hill was settled since pre- Roman ancient times. Local tradition even claims that it held a shrine devoted to local divinity known as Bandeve-Lugo Toiraeco. Although no remains of the temple have been found archaeological digs confirm that it was settled since the ancient times.
First military fortifications here were erected in 868 by Christian king Alfonso III of Leon. For centuries it was an important outpost for Reconquista or retake of Iberian peninsula from the Muslim Arabs that conquered these lands. It was repeatedly taken and burned by opposing forces. Unlike other medieval castles in Europe Santa Maria de Feira Castle was not abandoned with its loss of its strategic importance. Instead it was transformed into a residence. In 1881 it was proclaimed as a National Monument and serves as a museum of country's history.


Although the early human occupation of its site goes back to prehistory , it became more relevant when the Lusitans here erected a temple in honor of the deity Bandeve-Lugo Tueræus . After the Roman Invasion of the Iberian Peninsula , here passed the road that linked Olissipo ( Lisbon ) to Bracara Augusta ( Braga ), according to archaeological evidence that refer to this occupation of the Low Empire .

At the time of the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula , this pagan religious center was transformed into a Marian center , developing here a regional fair , whose high expression would give the place its name: Feira de Santa Maria.

The first documentary reference to his fortification is in the manuscript " Chronica Gothorum " (anonymous, late 12th century ), which reports the victory of Bermudo III of Leo (1028-1037) over a Moorish chief on lands of the Castle of Santa Maria ( 1045 ). Will date of this period the construction of the lower bail tower with functions citadel protected by a walled fence, which left only traces.