Algarve Tour Travel Guide, information and photos of National Monuments, Historical Sites, Architecture of Portugal and beaches to visit in the Algarve, when in Quarteira, Querença, Vilamoura, Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, Faro, Portimão and Loulé.
Old Castle of Alcoutim
The Old Castle of Alcoutim, also known as Castro of Santa Barbara, is located in the Town and Municipality of Alcoutim, in the district of Faro, Algarve, Portugal.
Thus becoming one of the most important structures of Islamic military architecture of the Algarve, the monument dominates the top platform of a mountain cliff, on the Guadiana River, about one kilometer north of the town of Alcoutim.
The decision by Muslim to chose the website where it stands the so-called Old Castle is not fully understood by scholars. Admittedly, however, that the defense was determined by the navigation on the river and the importance of mining in the region at the time. The archaeological research on the site properly document its construction, from the formation of the Emirate of Cordova. Later, at the time of the first caliphs and emirs, its facilities were expanded, was addorsed some buildings to their walls and erected a tower to protect the main gate access.
Abandoned during the eleventh century in unknown circumstances, the structure gradually lost its military isues. After the Christian reconquest of the region, the sovereigns of Portugal favored the current site of the village, and for whose defense erected the new Castle of Alcoutim. This monument, however, still has some interventions during the thirteenth century, as can be seen by the presence of niches in curtain walls and door styles.
It is classified as a Public Interest by the Decree of 31 December 1997.
Recently been object of archaeological research under the responsibility of Prof.. ª Maria Helena Gomes Catarino, with funds from the IPA with logistical support from Câmara Municipal de Alcoutim. The project, called Stand and fortifications of the Islamic East Algarve: The Old Castle of Alcoutim and territory mining explores the so-called Old Castle and its territory, focusing cultural aspects of the process of Islamization and its relationship to regional economic activities, particularly mining.
The set consists of two fortified enclosures, both of rectangular plant, stone schist irregular loose, mortared with soil, characteristic of the Umayyad architecture: the interior, higher elevation, corresponds to the Alcaçova. With an area of about 32 meters long and 22 meters wide (c. 704 m²) is reinforced by several towers tall and rectangular, none of them positioned at the corners. Its walls, with about 2 feet thick, present on the outside, holes for the water runoff or sewage. Inside opens up the tank, as well as some rise buildings (housing), featuring a small fortress, with courtyards, streets, kitchens and bedrooms. The north wall is torn by a narrow door and the back section of the river Guadiana (west border of Spain) would be strengthened during the eleventh century, the same time that have been built the tower (5.30 meters long and 3.80 meters wide) for enhance the protection of the main door, ripped at the east.
Abroad, bounded by the fence defence of the village, on the slope. Through analysis of the slopes and by observing the signals visible at the soil surface, has rectangular plan and the walls are reinforced by towers addorsed. In the fence opens a door in elbow, who communicated with the residential sector extra-mural that stretched to the edge of the Guadiana.
Here near Albufeira, Quinta do Lago,Vale do Garrão, Vale do Lobo, Vilamoura, Loulé, Quinta da Ombria, Querença, Faro, Alentejo, Andalusia
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