Sunday, August 13, 2017

Évoramonte Castle - Portugal

Last June after my trip to Denmark, I came home to change clothes and hit the road again. I've spent a few days in the portuguese region of Alentejo. The little village of Évoramonte was one of the places I wanted to visit the most. Many, may years ago I read a book - "Uma Aventura em Évoramonte" - portuguese for "An Adventure in Évoramonte", which is one of the many books of a teenage book collection written by portuguese ladies. I loved that collection and have been dreaming about that village and it's castle since then. I'm really happy that I finally found the time to visit this lovely village. 

The Évoramonte castle is one of the rare Portuguese castles that combines unique characteristics: the unique architectural ensemble, beautiful setting and also historical importance - it was here that the generals met on 26th May 1834, to put an end to the only but bloody portuguese civil war. 

Design: Luís Chimeno / Foto: Manuel Ribeiro
The castle is perched on a hill with more than 400 meters of altitude in the westernmost part of the Serra d'Ossa.
At the time of the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the town was conquered by Moors by the Portuguese forces commanded by the legendary Geraldo Sem Pavor, around 1160, when the construction of the castle began. Its defenses were rebuilt by D. Afonso III (1248-1279), the king who granted the village its  first charter (1248), renewed in 1271. These settlement attempts, however, do not seem to have been successful, as his successor, D. Dinis (1279-1325), ordered the fortification of the village (1306). The remaining walls and gates date from that period.  
With the accession of King João I to the throne, the Castle of Evoramonte and its dominions passed to the possession of the Constable D. Nuno Alvares Pereira, later coming to integrate the domains of the House of Bragança.

At the beginning of the Modern Age, D. Manuel I (1495-1521) granted a new charter to the village (1516), initiating a new constructive stage. 
The tower of the old castle was destroyed by the earthquake of 1531. The next year, under the direction of the mayor, D. Teodósio de Bragança, the tower was rebuilt in the form of a Palace of Italian Renaissance inspiration, designed by the architects Diogo and Francisco de Arruda.

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