5 Historical Castles of the Algarve Region in Portugal
Below is a brief description of each, those residing in the Algarve will probably already know some of them. For those who are looking to move to the Algarve, it offers a great insight into the history behind the region.
Albufeira Castle – Castelo de Albufeira
The effectiveness of its defence is shown by its longevity and that it remained in its location for the longest time.
Built on a cliff, the village has always been exposed to the elements of nature. It was particularly hard hit by the 1755 earthquake, whose consequent tsunami hit the coast with waves over ten meters high destroying everything in its path.
Only 27 houses remained standing in the village. The Main Church, in which some of the people had taken refuge, collapsed taking the lives of 227 victims.
Although work was immediately started to repair the damage, the region continued to be shaken by earthquakes until August of the following year.
Alcoutim Castle – Castelo de Alcoutim
A monument that has a splendid panoramic view is Alcoutim Castle from which you can see the Spanish village of Sanlucar on the far bank of the river Guadiana.
It is a medieval castle in the civil parish of Alcoutim in the southeastern region of the Algarve.
At the beginning of the 2nd century AD, the Romans conquered Alcoutim at a time when the settlement was a rich trading centre, dominated by its busy river port.
The fortress and its centre were transformed into a military base for the occupying Roman forces and used as a political centre, which became known as Alcoutinium.
Built-in the 13th century, the castle stands in a commanding position on a hill to the south of the town. Located on the right bank of the San Marcos River a tributary of the Guadiana River.
Aljezur Castle – Castelo de Aljezur
Located out on the west coast of the Algarve is Aljezur Castle, this was an Arab military construction that dates from the 10h century and consists of two towers fortified with extensive walls.
The Castle of Aljezur is a medieval castle built in the parish of Aljezur, in the Portuguese municipality of the same name. The castle built on top of a hill overlooks the Aljezur River and way into the surrounding countryside.
Recent excavations in the castle have uncovered that the castle grounds were occupied during the Bronze and Iron Ages, while outside the grounds small house-type structures and two silos could date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
Alvor Castle – Castelo de Alvor
The in its current state the Castle of Alvor is the ruined remains of a medieval castle and stands on a jagged cliff above the beach.
The beginnings of the fortress are said to date back to the 7th century, but Carthaginians and Phoenicians had settled in Alvor before that time.
The current appearance of the castle is the result of reconstructions from the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Inside the partially ruined walls, there is a children’s park and playground. A strategic viewing platform has been erected on the preserved tower.
Lagos City Walls and the Ponta da Bandeira Fortress
The Lagos City Walls and the Ponta da Bandeira Fortress, with its moat and drawbridge, embrace the city and the wide bay.
The Castle of Lagos is another medieval castle located in the municipality of Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal.
Originally the entire city of Lagos was surrounded by the castle walls, providing the town with its main means of defence.
Due to the strategic location, the stretch of coastline near Lagos has been occupied since prehistoric times.
In the year BC, the region was visited by Greeks, Phoenicians and Carthaginians.
When the Romans conquered the Iberian Peninsula, the primitive village had the Latin name Lacóbriga.
The settlement was rebuilt and a quadrangular wall was erected for its defence.
The town of Lagos was occupied by Visigoths who defeated the Romans.
In the eighth century, the Muslim Moors from North Africa took over from a defeated Roman army and renamed the town ‘Zawiya’.
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Castles of the Algarve – Our conclusions
As we are sure you agree the Algarve is rich in History and provides visitors with some excellent locations to explore, not least some of the castles found in the Algarve.
I have lived in the Algarve for over 20 years and love the experience. Now writing about and photographing the Algarve experience to share with others.
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