The historical village of Castelo Rodrigo as a whole is a genuine location of monuments preserving important medieval references. The most valuable features of its historical heritage are the old walls, the ruins of Cristóvão de Moura Palace, the 16th-century pillory, the medieval church, the parish church, the medieval cistern and inscriptions attesting to the existence of a substantial new-Christian community. For more than 600 years, Castelo Rodrigo was a town and municipal seat. More than once in the country's history, its inhabitants showed their courage and loyalty to the crown.
A nossa história o seu tempo
O território de Riba-Côa foi ocupado desde tempos remotos, havendo vestígios paleolíticos, megalíticos, da cultura castreja, romanos e árabes. A preocupação com a reorganização e povoamento desta área na época da Reconquista é patente nas doações aos freires Salamantinos, fundadores da Ordem de S. Julião do Pereiro, e aos primeiros frades de Santa Maria de Aguiar, oriundos de Zamora, de que o Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Aguiar, de fundação cisterciense do séc. XII, é importante testemunho.
Conquistada aos Árabes no séc. XI e dependente do Reino de Leão, foi vila elevada a concelho por Afonso IX, integrando definitivamente o território português a 12 de Setembro de 1297, pelo Tratado de Alcanizes - assinado por D. Dinis, que confirmou o seu Foral em Trancoso e mandou repovoar e reconstruir o Castelo, ação repetida por D. Fernando I, que também lhe concedeu Carta de Feira, em 1373.
Castelo Rodrigo está rodeado por uma cintura amuralhada inicialmente composta por 13 torreões (à semelhança de Ávila). Mantém a sua traça medieval, que irradia da alcáçova e acompanha a topografia. Pelas suas ruas encontram-se casas interessantes, umas manuelinas, outras construções árabes, como a casa nº 32, com inscrição e uma carranca, para além da cisterna, de 13 m de fundo, com uma porta em arco de ferradura e outra ogival.
Estando na rota de peregrinos a Compostela, aqui se ergueu a Igreja de N. Sra. de Rocamador, fundada por uma confraria de frades hospitaleiros vindos de França no séc. XIII.
Por ter tomado partido por Castela na crise de 1383-85, D. João I castigou Castelo Rodrigo, mandando que o seu brasão ficasse com as armas reais invertidas e a vila dependente de Pinhel. O pelourinho manuelino - de gaiola e grandes dimensões, atesta o poder municipal, regulamentado pelo foral novo de 1508, altura em que D. Manuel, o Rei Venturoso, mandou repovoar a vila e refazer o castelo.
Sob domínio filipino instituiu-se o condado e marquesado de Castelo Rodrigo na pessoa de Cristóvão de Moura, que mandou edificar um Palácio. Após a Restauração este foi destruído pelo povo. No largo de S. João, o padrão assinala e comemora a restauração da independência nacional.
Ainda nas lutas contra Espanha, a vila sofreu em 1664 o cerco do Duque de Ossuna, tendo a sua guarnição de 150 homens resistido heroicamente até à chegada de reforços, travando-se a batalha da Salgadela, junto ao Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Aguiar. Conta-se que o Duque de Ossuna e D. João d’Áustria escaparam disfarçados de frades.
Após as Guerras da Restauração, Castelo Rodrigo foi perdendo a sua importância, e a 25 de Junho de 1836, por Carta Régia de D. Maria II, a sede de concelho foi transferida para Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo.
Historicamente, nenhuma povoação raiana exerceu por tão longo período um lugar tão relevante nas relações Luso-Castelhanas e na defesa do território português.
What to see
Though there are no references to the castle prior to the 1209 charter from Alfonso IX of León, it probably existed in the 9th century in the time of D. Flâmula Rodrigues, on a hypothetical Lusitanian neolithic castle. The medieval enclosure has sections of wall from the 13th century and beyond, although the fortification was not mentioned in 1055, when Fernando de Leão won it from the Moors. There are still two gates with ogival arches called Sun Gate and Traitor’s Gate and another rounded arch in Largo de S. João. The fortification underwent a series of alterations. King Dinis was the mentor of restorations, such as those to the gateway to the caste when he installed a balcony with machicolations and a quadrangular turret with his coat of arms. Later the book by Duarte D´Armas showed the ruins of the fortification and King Manuel I ordered the restoration of the outer walls and awarded a new charter in Santarém on 25 July 1508. The entrances in Rua da Cadeia, such as Alverca Gate, were built later. On the inner NW flank of its walls there is a seat carved out of the rocks, which the local people call the King’s Chair. In the 20th century, it was classified as a National Monument by decree published on 4 July 1922. It was partially restored in the 1940’s but only recently underwent a comprehensive intervention programme organised by the local authority with support from Aldeias Históricas de Portugal.
Cristóvão de Moura Palace
The Philippine dynasty took over the Portuguese throne because of the succession crisis in 1580, due to the fact that King Sebastião was killed in the Battle of Alcácer-Quibir. It would have a direct impact on the old town of Castelo Rodrigo. Cristóvão de Moura, son of the old mayor of the town and a key figure in its diplomacy during the 1580 crisis commissioned his palace in Castelo Rodrigo in the exact location of the citadel. This man’s importance in the administration of Portugal during the Philippine reign is made clear by the fact that Felipe II of Spain made the town a county and awarded the title of Count to his favourite adviser Cristóvão de Moura (1594). When the king died, his successor, Felipe III, dubbed him (1600) the first Marquis of Castelo Rodrigo. When Portuguese independence was restored, the palace, a symbol of Spanish oppression, was burned down by the local population and is currently in ruins. After 1640, the palace was torn down by the local people, who regarded it as a symbol of Spanish domination, even though its owner had died 30 years before. The palace was of military importance in the 18th and 19th centuries and was restored, but only recently did it undergo “consolidation of its ruins” by IPPAR with support from Aldeias Históricas de Portugal. Today it is a symbolic place where cultural events can be held.
Where to eat
Taverna da Matilde
In a place that was once a games hall, Taverna da Matilde was born in August 2011. The space does justice to its name with a simple décor true to the idea we have of old-fashioned taverns. The wooden tables are covered with red and white check tablecloths. A robust set of iron scales, now just for show, reminds us of times when business was done face to face. An old sieve sits on a chest. We immediately associate everything with the rural world and the insistence on making and keeping good bread. This décor took many hours of work to make the place cosy and special for first-time visitors, said Delfina proudly.
Where to sleep
Casa da Amendoeira
Enjoy a fantastic stay surrounded by architectural and natural heritage, the treasures of this magnificent house in the historical village of Castelo Rodrigo. Casa da Amendoeira has small details that were designed to make you comfortable. Enjoy special moments in this unexpected, attractive, melodious, gentle décor.
Casa da Cisterna
Casa da Cisterna in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo is a place of great beauty in close contact with nature and manages to unite past and present. Nine rooms and two suites carefully restored and adapted to modern life, a swimming pool and a terrace with a view as far as the eye can see (for enjoying breakfast or dinner) make this unit an excellent choice for a stay in the castle of the historical village de Castelo Rodrigo. Donkey or jeep rides across the meadow are some of the activities available locally, where the landscape is rocky and olive trees predominate. A visit to the historical villages of Castelo Rodrigo, Almeida and Castelo Mendo is a must, along with the rock carvings of Vale do Côa, the Douro Internacional Natural Park and the Faia Brava Reserve. Don’t forget to ask for a picnic basket to take on your trips.
Plan your trip
Momentos bem passados
Encontre facilmente o que procura em Castelo Rodrigo. Utilize o nosso planeador de viagens e não perca tempo. Embarque nesta viagem pela História.