The best part of Castelo Branco are its charming gardens and museums, although it is also worth seeing its castle, now in ruins, and the São Gens lookout, from where you can grasp on the historical importance of the castle and the city, in a location that controls the surrounding planes all the way to the border with Spain.
It was precisely this location that caused the city to be under permanent attack, which eventually destroyed a good part of the historical centre. Still, Castelo Branco preserves charming medieval streets in the centre, and tree-flanked boulevards.
Praça Luís de Camões Square is the heart of the old town, surrounded by former burgess homes and palaces, notably the Paços do Concelho (Town Hall) and its medieval arches. Rua do Relógio street ends in the square where stand a Manueline calvary statue and the Sé or Cathedral, a former church in Manueline style that was expanded and turned into a cathedral.
One of the must-visit places is the Episcopal Palace housing the Tavares Proença Júnior regional museum, where important collections of art, archaeological objects, and embroidery are exhibited.
It’s also worth seeing the charming garden from the former Episcopal Palace, created in the 17th century, and containing specimens of rare trees,fountains, terraces, and a majestic staircase with many statues. In front of the garden, across the street, you can find the Parque da Cidade park, next to the Graça Convent, a former Franciscan convent now housing the Misericórdia Religious Art museum.
Last, it’s worth visiting the Cargaleiro Museum, located in the Solar dos Cavaleiros (18th century), and exhibiting part of the oeuvre by painter Manuel Cargaleiro.
The city is also a communications hub, being an excellent base camp for your trips to nearby areas such as Monsanto, with its abandoned castle, Lucano Tower, Idanha-a-Velha, Idanha-a-Nova, Sertã Castle, Penha Garcia Castle, and Penamacor Castle.
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