You are here

Moura Castle

Rising above Moura's old town on a limestone plateaux are the ruins of a once grand castle. The medieval Castelo de Moura was built by King Dom Dinis in the 13th century on the site of an earlier Moorish citadel. There is evidence that the site is even older than this suggesting there was originally an Iron Age hill fort here.

The medieval castle was a mixture of old and new including the remains of the Moorish castle and a new watchtower, the remains of which can be seen today. One of the original Moorish towers remained; the Salúquia tower, named after princess Salúquia, the daughter of the Muslim governor Abu Hassan. It is said that when the christians reconquered the town she threw herself from the top of this tower.
Over subsequent years the castle was further expanded and fortified.

During the 16th century the convent of Nossa Senhora da Assunção was incorporated into the castle grounds, being built on the site of the earlier Moorish mosque. It is said that the convent was home to the tombs of Pedro and Álvaro Rodrigues who were responsible for the reconquest of Moura from the Moors.

The castle was almost destroyed during the Spanish War of Succession under the command of the Duke of Osuna in 1707. Further damage was caused by the 1755 earthquake leaving the Moura Castle in ruins.

Today the castle is home to landscaped gardens, a military museum and an archaeological museum. It is also a great viewpoint for the town and surrounding countryside including the nearby Alqueva dam.

Other attractions near Moura Castle

© 2017 Travel in Portugal