Castelo Branco Castle

Discover the Knights Templar Castle of Castelo Branco and admire the panoramic views from the São Gens lookout.

Castelo Branco Castle
Castelo Branco Castle
© Nuno Tavares

Little remains from the primitive castle erected by the Knights Templar in the early 13th century. However, São Gens lookout - which replaces the walls - offers amazing views over the city and is a must visit spot. Given its border location, the castle was silent witness to many battles and wars that eventually endangered its survival.


Within the fortified area you can find the Igreja de Santa María do Castelo church. Here the Assembly of Homens-Bons gathered, as well as the military authorities up to the 19th century.

The fortress was almost completely destroyed after the Castilian invasion following the revolution of 1640. In 1704, the castle was set on fire by the Spanish once again. Finally, during the first French invasion, what remained was almost totally destroyed. In the floors of the castle, you still can see several tombs, among them the one of João Roiz de Castelo Branco, famed 16th century poet.
Entrance to the citadel is granted by a series of canyon arches behind the Igreja de Santa María do Castelo church. Just to the left, you can see a primitive cistern, and - in front - the Torre dos Templários with ornate windows in Manueline style.

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