This predominantly medieval village is divided into two walled sections, the Citadel and Barbican. The oval citadel is the old town, which grew up after a charter from King Sancho II. The new town, or Arrabalde de S. Pedro, is protected by a Dionysian wall that once boasted eight towers. They were partially destroyed by the 1755 earthquake. It still has its ﬁve gates, however (Vila, Guarda, Sol, Traição and D. Sancho gates). Castelo Mendo's charter granted and regulated the ﬁrst free fair in Portugal. It was held three times a year, at Easter, the feast of St. John the Baptist and feast of St. Michael and lasted eight days.
Our history your time
Castro Mendi é a designação que consta do documento mais antigo (1202) referente a Castelo Mendo. Apesar do local ter conhecido ocupação desde a Idade do Bronze e mostrar vestígios da presença romana, a estrutura fortificada e o modelo urbanístico caracterizadores de Castelo Mendo, são uma criação medieval concebida para enfrentar as necessidades impostas pela Reconquista Cristã nos séculos XII e XIII: promover o repovoamento dos territórios muçulmanos anexados ao reino português e sustentar as disputas territoriais fronteiriças com os reinos cristãos de Leão e Castela na região de Riba-Côa.
Castelo Mendo foi concelho de fundação medieval, com foral concedido em 1229 por D. Sancho II, estatuto que perdeu com a reforma administrativa liberal em 1855
A partir do séc. XIV, estabilizada a fronteira com o Tratado de Alcanizes em 1297, Castelo Mendo continuará a integrar a rede de fortificações que defendem a raia beirã. Este sistema defensivo medieval só perde a sua eficácia militar com o século XVII, período que vê surgir as fortificações modernas.
Dois núcleos muralhados, de épocas construtivas diferentes, configuram Castelo Mendo. No cimo do cabeço rochoso, dominando a paisagem envolvente, situa-se o Castelo com dois recintos distintos. O aglomerado civil desenhado em torno da Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Castelo dividido do polo exclusivamente militar, localizado a Este, no ponto mais elevado, onde antes se erguia a Torre de Menagem. Com o crescimento da povoação, o primitivo núcleo, supõe-se que mandado edificar por D. Sancho I ou D. Sancho II, é aumentado com nova cerca no reinado de D. Dinis (fim do séc. XIII). Pela encosta se estendeu a Vila, nela se organizando a vida da população abraçada pelos muros.
Espaço fechado, comunica com o exterior por portas abertas a Norte, Poente e Nascente com acessos reforçados por torres.
A Igreja, reguladora dos comportamentos, acompanha os edifícios públicos, símbolos do poder político e da ordem civil: Casa da Câmara e Cadeia e Pelourinho. É também neste espaço privilegiado que as famílias localmente mais consideradas ergueram a sua casa.
Mas as populações que viviam dentro das muralhas dependiam quotidianamente do exterior. Aqui se situavam os campos cultivados e as terras de pastagens. Na devesa encontravam-se as fontes de água, de mergulho e todas datando do séc. XIII/XIV, como as Fontes Nova e Velha, e Estrufa, além do Chafariz remodelado posteriormente. Fora das muralhas tinham ainda lugar acontecimentos mais ocasionais: a realização da feira (Alpendre), com uma tradição que remonta ao séc. XIII, sendo das primeiras do reino; ou celebrações associadas ao culto católico (Calvário).
A aldeia de Castelo Mendo foi classificada como Imóvel de Interesse Público em 1984.
What to see
There are separate parts. The highly fragmented paving consists of blocks of stone resting directly on the ground, sometimes making use of more or less worn granite outcrops. In the middle of the road there is a rock carved with three crosses and a dated inscription. Roman era - hypothetical construction or organisation of the road to Porto de São Miguel, on the bank of the River Côa, where a settlement from this period has been identified; 13th or 14th century - probable reconstruction or paving of cobblestones considering the history of the town and fortified enclosure; 1728 (?) - date carved on a rock showing the way, but difficult to read.
House with covered balcony in Largo do Pelourinho
It was probably built in the 16th century judging from the bevelled doorways and a door with an ogee-arch door in the main part of the house. This two-storey, rectangular civil architecture building has another, longer body attached. It has a four-sided roof. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries there were some alterations to the building, such as the construction of the covered balcony. It is inscribed 1800 and 1801, possibly related to the date of construction of the side wing. In the 19th and 20th centuries the building served different purposes including a primary school and a post office and is now the parish council.
Manueline Houses in Rua do Forno
Two-storey civil architecture joined buildings They are rectangular in shape with the narrower part facing the street, one-sided roof and Manueline doors. These buildings have unframed windows with straight lintel, a bevelled door in an ogee arch and bevelled door with a curved lintel.
Colmeal Countryside Hotel
Hidden in Serra da Marofa, in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, the Colmeal Countryside Hotel is much more than a 4-star hotel: it is the perfect retreat to find the silence, the hospitality and the delights of Beirã gastronomy, in a historic village surrounded by nature. Rebuilt in line with the local heritage by the architect Pedro Brígida, Colmeal has 11 rooms and 3 country houses, a relaxing SPA and an outdoor pool with water from the mountains that surround the 700 hectares of the farm. At the restaurant, you can also taste the best regional products recreated in recipes with the signature of Chef Vítor Sobral, accompanied by the unique aromas of Silêncio, white or red wine, produced locally. On foot or by bicycle, Colmeal invites you to walk the old paths of the shepherds and discover the history of the village, the landscape of the mountains, the flight of birds, the rock paintings, the streams and, above all, the silence nature's infinite. Through visits organized by the region, we can take you to discover the rock engravings of Foz Côa, take a boat trip through the Douro International, visit the Faia Brava reserve, walk through Riba Côa, watch the water birds in the Santa Maria de Aguiar dam or visit the historic village of Castelo Rodrigo, one of the 7 wonders of Portugal. Whether private or business, make an appointment with the silence of this refuge and ask us for information so that we can make your stay a unique experience. At Colmeal Countryside Hotel you will find all the serenity you need to disconnect from the world. And connect more and more with yourself.
Casa do Corro
Casa do Corro is a small house designed to offer the maximum comfort and wellbeing that we all deserve. We have a wide range of conditions that you can enjoy to the full in this calm, relaxing lifestyle in direct contact with nature. Come and visit us and enjoy the ambiance, tranquillity and harmony that we have to offer.
What to do
TRY PORTUGAL – Adventure, Nature & Culture
TRY PORTUGAL promotes personalized programs and experiences of active and cultural tourism, exploring the Natural, Historical and Cultural heritage of the country. All programs in autonomy or with guides are created to guarantee experiences of gastronomy & wines, culture & traditions. We highlight the interior regions that are still unknown to most travelers, through thematic vacation programs, the provision of tourist services, and the organization of sports & cultural events. Services: Thematic tours, active tourism programs, guided tours, organization of cultural and sporting events. Our tours are designed to include one or more of the following activities that are available in the region: Walking & Hiking - Mountain & Road Cycling - Water trails activities - Air activities- Horseback Riding – Rock Climbing – Wellness & Yoga Retreats - Ecotourism - Geo-tourism - Cultural & Historical Tourism - Creative Residences - Impact Tourism & Volunteering COME TRY PORTUGAL!
Beltour – Turismo e Eventos
Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking
Powered since 2006 by your passion for travel, Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking was created to offer you authentic experiences and unforgettable memories in the most exclusive places in Portugal, taking you to the most historic places and wild landscapes. The perfect example of this is our holidays in the Historical Villages. Each one more surprising than the one before, prepare to cross mesmerizing landscapes, going through some of the most impressive Portuguese natural regions like the Côa Valley, with their cave paintings, the Estrela Mountain Range, with the highest peak in continental Portugal, or Faia Brava, the first private conservation area in Portugal. And at the end of each day, explore another village, each with a different story to discover, between castles and walls, between taverns and gourmet restaurants, between centuries-old traditions and the latest inspirations. Dare yourself to wear the shoes of the great conquerors who fought for the oldest European border while restoring your body and mind with pure air and breathtaking views.