Montemor-o-Velho Castle

Go on a weekend break to Montemor-o-Velho and visit its stunning castle on your holidays in Coimbra, Portugal.

Montemor-o-Velho Castle
Montemor-o-Velho Castle
© Celestino Manuel

The Montemor-o-Velho Castle raises at the top of a sheer mountain, 25 kilometres West to Coimbra. Its walls dominate the swampy territory of its vicinity until where the horizon reaches.

 

Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho
Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho
© Celestino Manuel

Fernando I of Castile and León reconquered Montemor-o-Velho, taking it to the Moors in 1604, and in less than a century his great-grandson Afonso Henriques claimed it as part of the New Kingdom of Portugal. For centuries the castle was rebuilt and enlarged in several occasions, although the main part of its current structure dates from the 14th century.

Nowadays you can walk around its battlements and explore the land between its inside and outside walls, and from here take a look at the paddies extending beside the Mondego River.

On its interior there is barely no still standing buildings, excepting the ruins of the Paço das Infantas Palace, built by Urraca, aunt of Afonso Henriques, and the Igreja de Santa María de Alcáçova Church, a small Romanesque church dating from 1090 and reconstructed in the 16th century with Manueline details.

The importance of this fortress goes back to at least two millenniums, as it has been found Roman masonry elements on it.

The village of Montemor-o-Velho is small, but hosts restaurants and there is an old house that rents rooms.

To arrive here, you can go by car, bus or train. The buses Moisés Correia de Oliveira between Coimbra and Figueira da Foz stop nearby the castle; while the trains running between Coimbra B and Figueira da Foz stop every one or two hours in the Montemor Station, 4 kilometres southeast to the Castle.

More information:

Location:

Montemor-o-Velho, Coimbra.

Ticket price:

free admission.

Recommended Excursions:

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