Are you in love with castles? We have the ideal excursion for you. Do you ever imagine what it would be like to live in ancient times? To live in a castle and imagine all the events that happened in those places? You must take this trip with us. We have an itinerary of 4 castles in Planalto Mirandês. During the trip, you can appreciate the landscapes, get to know the history and learn about what all of these centenarian monuments represent.
This excursion will transport you to the roots and past of our country. A great trip to take with friends or family. Are you ready to go? We start in the city of Bragança with a visit to the Domus Municipalis, which dates back to the twelfth century.
The construction of the first fortification of the citadel likely dates back to the 12th century. But the passing of time leaves its marks and it was necessary to reinforce its military defenses. For this reason, there have certainly been some significant modifications to its defense system.
The current wall, which likely dates back to the reign of Afonso III, is found reflected in the design that Duarte D'Armas made of the fortress at the beginning of the 16th century, which already features the Gothic Castle built in the first half of the 15th century.
Of course these excursions bring more richness than just castles. You couldn't pass through the North of Portugal without the delight of tasting the typical gastronomy. And take advantage of the area to get to know some cities and villas near our castles.
Did you like our first monument? Our excursion follows National Route 218 until the city of Bragança The following stop is Castelo de Algoso (Algoso Castle), and along the way we will pass by the city of Vimioso. If you want to see another slice of the region, you can take advantage of these stops and visit Miranda do Douro and Douro Internacional.
Castelo de Algoso (Algoso Castle)
Castelo de Algoso (Algoso Castle) rules a vast extension of Planalto Mirandes, standing out, unmistakably, by the silhouette of its singular keep tower. It was built by Mendo Bofino, at the service of D. Sancho I. The castle represents a political-military center from the designated Terra de Miranda, while the other castles of the region, such as Mogadouro and Penas Roías, were under the knights' rule of the Order of the Temple.
In 1224, Sancho II handed it over to the knights of the Order of the Temple, thus the beginning of the most extensive and striking phase of history.
In its first stages, the castle held its role as controller of the territory and defender of the kingdom's borders, reinforcing itself with many Gothic solutions, which nowadays still characterize its architectural structure. But it was also under the Hospitaller's rule and saw its political-military importance be progressively reduced.
Third stop. We continue along the route to the third castle, and leave the path going to the Castelo de Penas Roais (Penas Roais Castle), a fortress from the 12th century located a few kilometers further south.
Castelo de Penas Roais (Penas Roais Castle)
Castelo de Penas Roais has the characteristics of these defensive structures, unique in their very specific construction, and found present in other Leonese castles from the 12th century, and especially in the neighboring castles of Riba Côa.
At the end of D. Afonso Henriques's reign, and already under the Templars' control, the castle underwent significant alterations including the highlighted square keep tower. As with the other castles from the Order, the constructive phase was commemorated with an epigraph that, although in poor state is still preserved, shows its construction occurring between 1172 and 1182.
In 1197, the Penas Roais and Mogadouro castles were the objects of a trade, where King D. Sancho II awarded the Templars with the city of Idanha-a-Velha. Two years later, the Templars would also receive the Penas Roais and Mogadouro churches in exchange for the land of Azafa.
From here we move on to our last stop, the very pretty Mogadouro.
Castelo de Mogadouro (Mogadouro Castle)
The donation to the Templars would later be used as an objective in the consolidation of the, then recently established, areas bordering the Leão kingdom. The Order was most likely responsible, during the second half of the 12th century, for important reforms in the composition and architecture of the fortress, like those in the other castles that were reformed with the application of the most advanced solutions and understanding of fortification at the time. The main alteration would be the construction of the square keep tower that, isolated in the fortified compound, constitutes the last stronghold for isolation and protection.
In 1196, Sancho I (1154-1211) awarded the Templars with the villa of Idanha-a-Nova in exchange for the Mogadouro and Penas Roais castles and two years later the Mogadouro and Penas Roais churches for the land of Azafa in Vila Velha de Ródão.
They are approximately 91 km and connect Bragança to Mogadouro. Including the stops at each monument, the excursion take around 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Along the way, there is much to see. You don't have to see everything in one day. Take some time for yourself, to learn about the history of these lands and taste some of the typical food from the region. We're sure that you will find a typical Portuguese restaurant that will open new doors, leave your stomach satisfied and put a smile on your face.
If you wish to create a complete itinerary of the region, including all of its points of interest, we can help you. Pack your bags, we're waiting for you. When will you arrive?