Castelo de Almourol, Vila Nova da Barquinha

#5 of 17 in Historic Sites in Santarem District
Castle Tourist Spot
The Castle of Almourol is a medieval castle, located on a small islet in the middle of the Tagus River, in the civil parish of Praia do Ribatejo, 4km from the municipal seat of Vila Nova da Barquinha, in the Portuguese Centre Region. The castle was part of the defensive line controlled by the Knights Templar, and a stronghold used during the Portuguese Reconquista.HistoryIt is believed that the castle was constructed on the site of a primitive Lusitanian castro that was later conquered by the Romans during the 1st century B.C.E. It was later remodelled by successive invading forces, including the Alans, Visigoths and Moors, although it is unclear when the actual castle was established. In excavations carried out in the interior and exterior enclosures, various vestiges of Roman occupation were discovered, that included coins, millennium markers and Roman foundations, while medieval remnants such as medallions and two marble columns were also discovered in the castle's vicinity.The castle of Almourol is one of the more emblematic and cenographic medieval military monuments of the Reconquista, and best representation of the influence of the Knights Templar in Portugal. When it was conquered in 1129, by forces loyal to the Portuguese nobility, it was then known as Almorolan, and placed in the trust of Gualdim Pais, the master of the Knights Templar in Portugal, who rebuilt the structure. The structure was reconstructed, starting in 1171 (from an inscription over the principal gate) and restored during the subsequent reigns.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
322 reviews
  • Castelo de Almourol was part of our Knights Templar Historical tour from Cool Tour Lisbon. The good thing about it was when we arrived there were no tourists except us. The castle is located on an isl...  more »
  • Yes, to visit this dramatically set castle in an island, obe must board a small boat and sail along the coast of the river before being dropped off to explore the ruins. Great views and lots of steps....  more »
  • The castle is situated on an island in a river. You take a very short and inexpensive boat ride to get there. Check the times on the sign when you arrive at the dock as you may have to wait until the ...  more »
  • This is a magically secluded castle, yet quite present. The view over the river is breathtaking. It's well preserved and quaint, specially the main tower. The access is a bit dodgy though, and the sand and dirt can pose a difficulty for people with mobility issues. Don't believe the boat people: one can access the "island" by foot and hike up to the castle.
  • Quiet place, free to explore by path over the river. Boat trip around €2.50, good for a quick stop enroute elsewhere but not worth a detour
  • Great small castle and keep in a really good shape on a rocky island in the river. Boat trip and castle visit is 2.5€.
  • Nice little hike with small kids and beautiful views from the top. Quick pit stop
  • Nice location. Beautiful view. Nice little restaurant with friendly staff.

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