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Aljezur Castle Algarve Portugal Monuments

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Algarve Tour Travel Guide, information and photos of National Monuments, Historical Sites, Architecture of Portugal and Museums to visit in the Algarve, when in Quarteira, Querença, Vilamoura, Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, Faro, Portimão, Lagos and Loulé

Algarve's Tourist Guide - Heritage, Architecture, Monuments and History of the Algarve, Portugal

Aljezur Castle, Faro District, Algarve, Portugal Monuments

Castelo de Aljezur, Algarve, located in the Village and Town of Aljezur, Distrito de Faro, Portugal.

In dominant position over the village and the river of Aljezur, although it is figured in the seven corners of the coat of Arms of the country, is almost unknown in Portugal tours, but is one of the most important monuments in the Algarve.

Historical Data

The recent archaeological research by the Archeology Office of the Natural Park of Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina, in partnership with Câmara Municipal de Aljezur, revealed that the early human occupation of this site goes back to prehistoric times, bringing to light layers with traces of Bronze Age (c. 3000 PA), Iron Age and Roman period (between the fourth and BC).

The medieval castle

At the time of the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, the course of the Aljezur river was navigable and this village was an important river port.

Date of this period, early (before the tenth century), the original fortress, which, in general, had a polygonal shape, it subsisting significant sections of the Castle walls, a circular tower and the tank.

Later, in late stage, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, were raised various structures inside, the enclosure housing and two silos.

The castle would have integrated Almohad defensive sistem of Silves region, which were part of the west coast and south of the Alentejo.

Castle built in the tenth or eleventh century by the Muslims. This castle, together with the Belinho Castle (near Portimão), Paderne Castle, Alferce Castle, Alvor Castle, Lagos Castle, Martim Longo Castle, Alcoutim Old Castle, Tavira Castle, Faro Castle, Alcantarilha CastleSalir Castle and Loulé Castle served as military stronghold of support for the castle of Silves, the head of the Al Andaluz, Al Garb.

At the time of the Christian Reconquest, with the conquest of the Algarve (1246), the village and its castle pass, according to some authors into the realm of king Sancho II of Portugal (1223-1248) on June 24, 1242 or 1246

Others claim that the success occurred between 1243 and 1244 by action of the Master of the Order of Santiago, Dom Paio Peres Correia.

Others say that it was in the Dom Afonso III Kingdom (1248-1279), initiated by the same Master, on the morning of June 24, 1249, St. John's Day, making Nossa Senhora da Alva (Our Lady of Alva) as the patron saint of the town. The Chronicle of the Conquest of the Algarve also notes that Aljezur was the last square of the Algarve to be won in this year of 1249. In any event, it should have been promoted reforms by the new setlerss.

At the time of King Dinis (1279-1325), received Letter of Law (1280), it is believed that this monarch has promoted works of conservation and enhancement.
Despite a lack of further research on the architectural developments of the monument, we know that during the Middle Ages lost its military and strategic function, and was abandoned, in the middle of the XV century in 1448. The information of the Visitation of the Order of Santiago Aljezur (1482), confirms the abandonment of the castle, which had ruined in the west walls, doors broken and partially without the lock, and the tank filled up.
At the time of the reign of King Manuel I (1495-1521), the Order of Santiago try to rebuild it, starting to repair the walls, which was reiterated by the new order of the kingdom, sent by that sovereign.

From the earthquake of 1755 to the present

 The town and the remnants of the ruined structure was badly damaged by the earthquake of 1755, especially the housing inside the enclosure. The contemporary records, until the nineteenth century are chords in referring the degradation of the monument.

In the twentieth century in the context of celebrations of the centenary of the death of Prince Henry were promoted restoration interventions in several fortifications in the Algarve, including that of Sagres, Lagos and this Aljezur Castle. Classified as a Public Interest by decreet on 29 September 1977, there was works of consolidation and minor repair of walls, made some changes and re-created in some places, without any distortion of the monument.

In recent years, several improvement programs have been developed, including by Aljezur Municipality, pending their inclusion in the Muslim Rotary Project, by the Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with the Archaeological Site of Beja.

Aljezur Castle Features: tower of rectangular plan.

The castle have a polygonal shape, with its walls torn in the east, the entrance gate, defended by a

circular turret.

On the west side, was built a tower of rectangular plan. On the parade ground is a tank (cistern), of rectangular plan, covered by a vault.
The silos brought out by the archaeological research, were dug in the rock. Corresponding to the period of Christian occupation, over and leaning against the walls, were identified traces of rectangular and trapezoidal compartments, which would have probably been as barracks for the troops.

Nearby (40mn drive): Faro, Albufeira, Quinta do Lago, Vale do Garrão, Vilamoura, Loulé, Querença

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