Almourol Castle

Located on a small island in Portugal’s Tagus River, the Almourol Castle is a medieval fortress holds centuries of history within its walls. From knights and epic battles to stunning architecture, Almourol Castle looks like its been picked straight out of a fairytale! Let’s take a look at the history behind the Almourol Castle, its architecture, and what you can expect when visiting.

History

Almourol Castle’s construction started in the 12th century during the Moorish era as a defensive stronghold to protect the region from invasions. During the Reconquista, the castle played a crucial role in the Christian forces’ efforts to regain control of the Iberian Peninsula.

The Knights Templar, a renowned Christian military order, later took over the castle and transformed it into a key Templar stronghold. Almourol Castle became part of a network of fortifications along the Tagus River, serving as a significant defense point and a symbol of Templar power.

Although it experienced battles and sieges over time and was eventually abandoned, the castle underwent restoration in the 19th century. Today, it stands as a remarkable reminder of its past.

Architecture

Almourol Castle’s architecture is a captivating mix of Moorish and Templar influences, representing the diverse cultural heritage of the region. The castle stands proudly on a rocky island, surrounded by defensive walls and water.

As visitors approach the castle, they are welcomed by a grand entrance called the barbican, which served as the main gateway and an extra layer of defense. Upon entering, they step into the inner courtyard, where they can explore the main structures of the castle.

The keep, a prominent feature of Almourol Castle, stands tall in the center of the courtyard. This tower served as both a defensive structure and a residence for the Templar knights. Its thick walls and narrow windows showcase the military architecture of the time.

The castle includes various chambers, including the chapel, which displays elements of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. The chapel’s design, simple yet elegant, reflects the Templar order’s deep devotion to their faith.

Visiting Times & Tickets

The Almourol Castle is free to visit. There are three main ways to get to the castle:

  • Boat ride: Book a boat ride to take you to the island.
  • Paddle or Canoe: Do the work yourself and rent a canoe or paddleboard to get onto the island.
  • Tour: Book an excursion onto the castle that includes a boat ride and tour. 

Tours

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