Forte de Nossa Senhora da Rocha (Nossa Senhora da Rocha Fortress)
The Nossa Senhora da Rocha Fortress, also known as Porches Castle, located in the village of Porches, Lagoa (Algarve), Distrito de Faro, Portugal.
History of the Nossa Senhora da Rocha Fortress
The toponymy Porches back to a Roman town, near the present village. With a privileged location, on a promontory dominating the coast between the ancient Ossonoba (now Faro) and Lacobriga (now Lagos), protecting the beach and a small port, the only access to this stretch of coast. Despite a lack of archaeological research, scholars believe that at the time of the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, the site was already a military.
The medieval castle
There are no local information shed light on the castle, unless it was donated by El Rey Dom Afonso III (1248-1279) to his chancellor, Bishop Stephen, in a document in the village of Santa Maria de Faro, dated February 1250. The current is strong in his pool, a chapel, whose construction date is unknown: according to one local legend in your building is connected to an apparition of the Virgin, and El Rey Dinis ordered the construction of fortifications to protect.
The castle up to today
It is known that the King El Rey Dom João III (1521-1557) built the fortress to defend the beaches of the Moorish piracy. At the end of the sixteenth century, when Tomás Gonçalves is mentioned as governor, is refered the existence of a fortress on-site.
In the early nineteenth century, this structure was already badly damaged (1821), with large sections of its original perimeter destroyed by sea erosion of the base of the cliff.
The Fort and Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Rocha are classified as a Public Interest by decreet on 25 October 1963, at which time suffered partial intervention, consolidation and restoration work doned by the General Direction of Buildings and National Monuments (DGEMN).
Nearby: Lagos, Portimão, Faro, Albufeira, Quinta do Lago, Vale do Garrão, Vilamoura, Loulé, Querença
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