Castle

Portalegre Castle

Castle · Alentejo · 490 m
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    Photo: Rafael Romano, Responsible Trails
Medieval, modern, contemporary military architecture Medieval period – Castle and Urban Fence Modern period – Reinforcement of the medieval fence Contemporary period – Construction of the wooden structure and the panoramic palisade, recovery of the barbican and part of the Urban Fence Construction period – 13th century / XIV / XVI / XVII / XIX / XXI. 
The Alegrete’s Ancient Door and the Urban Fence already existed in 1274. In 1299, the walls were completed, the Keep and the Alcáçova tower having been remodeled, and the construction of a second fence with 12 towers and 8 gates began. At the beginning of the century. XIV, D. Dinis ordered the reconstruction and expansion of the fortifications. Of the primitive construction, from the 13th and 14th centuries, and its double walls, there are only a few walls and three towers standing. It has a sub-circular wall, with merlons at the top, two solidary towers and, on the other side of the street, the Keep, which has two vaulted floors, the last one with decorated boules, the center with the coat of arms of Portugal. The entrance door for the round walk has the tympanum ornamented in relief by a streaked and flaming “Sun”, an archaic manifestation of magical – religious content. There probably would have been eight doors in the city fortifications, but currently there are only three: Alegrete’s Ancient Door, Devesa’s Ancient Door and Crato’s Ancient Door. Dislocated about 12 m from the original place and built into the wall, there is an old “porticum”, called Postigo’s Ancient Door. With the War of Restoration, the bastioned fortification of the Cerca de Portalegre was built, the towers were adapted to the artillery and the forts of São Cristóvão, São Pedro and Boavista were built. Bastions, today called walls, were also built and are located near the Episcopal Palace and Porta da Devesa. In 2005, within the scope of the Polis Programme, an archaeological intervention took place in the Praça de Armas do Castelo, which resulted in the excavation, study and inventory of all the artefacts and structures buried there. A necropolis was discovered, and seven graves were exhumed, one of them, whose documented date is 1811, being identified as belonging to Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan Esquire, Commander of the English Army. In addition to the necropolis, ten silos were also identified, which in the 15th and 16th centuries functioned as dumps, and it was in these spaces that numerous ceramic, metal and bone artefacts were discovered. The recovered archaeological finds are kept in the Robinson Space. In 2006, the Castle was also intervened within the scope of the Polis Program, which resulted in a wooden structure that united the towers and the walls, where a Temporary Exhibitions Gallery functions. The City Interpretive Center was installed in the Keep. Barbacã, a wall in front of the walls that served to defend the moat, was degraded and inaccessible to the public. It was also rehabilitated, with the access door currently featuring sculptural work.
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Author
Rafael Romano
Update: July 21, 2021

Coordinates

DD
39.290992, -7.430419
DMS
39°17'27.6"N 7°25'49.5"W
UTM
29S 635357 4350243
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