Castelo BrancoTown Related Links
Castelo BrancoIntroduction

The official recognition of its existence was in the 13th Century when in 1214 King Afonso II presented the town to the Knights of the Temple.

A town that being close to the frontier to Spain has been subject to many attacks during its subsequent history.

The Spanish sacked it in 1640, and in 1704 it was again taken and sacked but this time by a combined Spanish and French army.

Later, in 1807 the city and its inhabitants suffered once more but for the last time by the hand of the invading French forces.

The city is the commercial and administrative centre of the region named Beira Baixa.

The restored walls of the 16th Century castle still keep watch over the present-day city. The most outstanding attraction to be seen is the Jardim Episcopal adjoining the palace of the Bishop. Created in the 18th Century the layout is very formal but the stonework and statues that decorate the garden are so heavily Baroque in style it creates a distinct impression in your memory.

Carved stone replicas of saints, monarchs, animals and general objects, stand silently in witness to your presence. The then much hated Spanish Kings are reproduced in half-size as a form of political statement of that time.

Within the palace is the Museu Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior, displaying amongst the sacred objects some fine examples of silk-embroidered bedspreads from the region. These bed covers have been produced in this area for several hundred years and are know as "colchas".

Castelo BrancoNearby Locations

Directly to the north of this town are São Vicente de Beira, Castelo Novo and the 4th Century town of Alpedrinha. All three of these mountain towns are rich in medieval palaces and atmosphere.

The many old buildings that have been little changed in appearance over the centuries and visually take any visitor romantically back to a sense of living in medieval times.

In contrast the town of Covilhã lying further to the north is a typical representative of today’s active commercial town and acts as a gateway to the famed mountain park area named Serra de Estrela.

To the northeast of Castelo Branco is the village of Idanha-a-Velha, a modest village with a rich historical background and surrounded by massively thick Roman walls.

It is reputed to have been the birthplace of the famed Visigoth King named Wamba. The restored 16th Century Church built on its own ruins dates as far back as to the 4th Century.

In the middle of the village square stands a 17th Century pillory. Nearby are the ruins of a tower "Torre das Templários" underneath which are the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to the god Venus.

A large modern museum has been constructed which contains carved and inscribed Roman stones.

Still further to the north of Castelo Branco is the fascinating village of Monsanto. Many of the buildings have been built out of granite stone and there are occasional small houses constructed between massive boulders in the tight narrow granite cobbled streets.

Castelo BrancoEvents and Useful Town Facts

Postal Code 6000
Altitude 375 mts.
Inhabitants 27.200

Castelo BrancoTelephone Numbers

Town Hall 272 330 330
Fire Brigade 272 342 122
Tourist Office 272 330 330
SOS 112
Support to Tourists 800 296 296

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