Medieval castles, tower-houses and watch-towers of portugal

Project by Pedro Alves

Portugal has more than 400 castles, fortified palaces and defensive towers scattered around the country, reflecting it’s huge Medieval heritage, and it’s 900 years of History. So often ignored or disregard both at home and abroad until very recently, Portuguese historical heritage has a unique opportunity to rise and show itself to the world, just as 500 years ago it’s seamen and explorers gave “new worlds to the World”, in the words of one of their biggest authors of all time, Luís de Camões (1524-1580).

The following map lists all of Portugal’s medieval fortifications, royal palaces, nobility, eclesiastical and civil houses, spanning from 9th to late 15th century. They show continuous evolution of architecture and construction techniques throughout the centuries: from the Early medieval high mountainous “castelos-roqueiros” (rocca) and “motas” (moat-and-bailey) to the Romanesque fortresses of the Reconquista, and powerful late medieval Gothic castles and city walls.

Sometimes not so distant from each other, Portuguese castles are easy accessible and due to the relative small area of the country, several can be visited in a couple of days. Now, with this tool-map, using Google Maps API to accurately place the GPS coordinates of each monument, together with photos and informative texts, everyone’s experience will be even better, improving exponentially the information available for all tourists and History lovers visiting Portugal.



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