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A medieval stronghold with the Idanha-a-Velha castle was built in 1171. It stands on top of a hill with a height of 763 meters, offering a beautiful view, stretching all the way to the Spanish border. It is worth visiting the castle itself, the chapels located within its walls, and the town of Monsanto, which in 1938 was recognized as the most Portuguese village in Portugal.
According to the findings, the place was already inhabited in prehistoric times. Evidence was found for the presence of Romans as well as Arabs and Visigoths between the 5th and 11th centuries. In 1165, the first Portuguese king Alfonso I the Conqueror gave the land to the Knights Templar, who built a fortified castle there. Then the fortress came under the rule of the Santiago. As a result of a powerful explosion in the powder magazine, the castle was almost completely destroyed. Its current shape is the result of reconstruction from the 13th century.
Monsanto Castle consists of three walled courtyards. Next to the fortress you can see the ruins of a Roman chapel with five stone tombs carved in the rock. The square in front of the entrance to the castle is still used for dancing during regional festivals. Since 1948, the remains of the stronghold have been part of the National Monuments of Portugal.